CHICAGO – For a guy who faltered down the stretch in 2012, it wasn’t exactly the outing Jose Quintana had in mind to start a new season.
Not only did seven consecutive batters reach base against Quintana to start the fifth inning, he was pulled from the game when the Mariners delivered hits on each of his last four pitches.
After already giving up two hits in the seventh, the inning seemed to really get off the tracks when he failed to handle a toss from Paul Konerko while trying to cover first base. With the toss a little behind him, Quintana tried to barehand the ball but dropped it.
The floodgates opened after that, as the Mariners started to pour it on. Manager Robin Ventura agreed that the error was what ultimately spelled disaster.
“He got some stuff up, and they are aggressive,” Ventura said. “They were swinging at some first pitches, probably trying to get back in the counts. They put some good swings on him.”
Despite temperatures in the low 30s and dropping all evening, Quintana refused to use the cold as an excuse.
“It didn’t affect me at all,” he said through an interpreter. “I saw the temperature and it was cold, but it didn’t affect me.”
There were two wildly different stretches for Quintana last year, one in which he was dominating in the early going, and one when he struggled late, posting a 5.01 ERA over 14 starts in the second half. Friday was merely a continuation of the Quintana from the second half.
“I felt pretty good with my command,” Quintana said about Friday’s outing. “There were some things I looked at on video that I could change and do better at, and I will try to do better.”