CHICAGO -- Meet the new Jose Quintana, now seemingly the same as the old Jose Quintana who earned his first All-Star nod last season.The White Sox left-hander completed a stellar June by throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Yankees during a 4-3 White Sox victory Tuesday night at Guaranteed
CHICAGO -- Meet the new Jose Quintana, now seemingly the same as the old Jose Quintana who earned his first All-Star nod last season.
The White Sox left-hander completed a stellar June by throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Yankees during a 4-3 White Sox victory Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. Quintana finished with a no-decision, his Major League-leading 63rd since the start of the 2012 season, but the southpaw's third straight quality start becomes more important than any individual wins and losses.
Remember, Quintana exited May with a 5.60 ERA. His ERA fell to 4.37 courtesy of Tuesday's effort.
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"All my stuff, I throw all of my pitches. I'm using more changes now," said Quintana of his June progress. "All of my stuff and sometimes bad games are going to happen.
"But when it happens, I go check the video to see if I'm doing something wrong and try to make adjustments. I feel pretty good and I have my confidence high, and for me, I turn the page and focus on the next one."
In June, Quintana had a 2-1 record with a 1.78 ERA over 30 1/3 innings to go with 30 strikeouts. Those numbers look much better than his 1-3 ledger and 5.91 over six May starts.
Quintana never got too down on himself during the opening two months, knowing his body of work since '12 suggests he's not only good, but one of the more consistent starting pitchers in the game. He also had support from his teammates.
"We have a very good relationship, very good communication," said White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo, after delivering the walk-off two-run single with two outs in the ninth. "When he was passing through that, the first two months, I let him know, just keep your confidence, don't hesitate, do your job, keep working hard because we have confidence in you.
"Now he's just showing us what he's capable of doing and doing what he's been doing his whole career. We're glad he's the same Jose Quintana he's been the last couple of years."
New York might feel the same way as Abreu. With the White Sox rebuilding and Quintana featuring three years of affordable control after this season, he should be a strong target of contenders such as the Yankees, a team where Quintana pitched before joining the White Sox as a Minor League free agent.
But Tuesday wasn't as much about trade possibilities as it was about Quintana working back toward his top form.
"It's just been him commanding the zone, attacking. A lot more strikes," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He still had some at-bats today where he got to 3-2, but then he'd execute, he'd finish and make a pitch that induced a very weak fly ball or ground balls.
"That's who he is. I mean, you all have seen him like this before. For us, it's just seeing him get back to who he's always been."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.