Since the start of 2013, 27 pitchers have made at least 90 starts. Sixteen of them have done so and maintained an ERA under 3.50. Jose Quintana is one, and he and Cole Hamels are the only to match both criteria with fewer than 30 wins.
A few small consolations could come Tuesday night in Detroit as the left-hander tries to win 10 games for the first time in his career, which would clinch a series win for the Chicago White Sox.
Quintana (9-10, 3.45 ERA) is 27-28 with a 3.43 ERA in 95 starts since the start of 2013. Hamels has 27 wins in 92 starts in that time, while the Texas ace’s 3.59 run-support average is the only one lower than Quintana’s 3.90 mark among the 16.
Unsurprisingly, the list includes some impressive names: Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner and Felix Hernandez are part of that group.
Granted, Quintana’s ERA is the highest of the bunch, but Chicago is well aware he hasn’t gotten the results he deserves.
That’s begun to change modestly dating to his shutout in Cleveland on July 24 with Quintana going 5-1 with a 2.82 ERA in 11 starts, though he was again shorted in Thursday’s 4-2 home loss to Oakland after giving up a run and four hits in seven innings.
"We’re not doing it on purpose. He knows that," manager Robin Ventura told MLB’s official website. "As much as you test somebody’s patience, he’s good. He’s solid. He’s as consistent as anybody. He’s done that since Day 1, even his first time up here as just a spot start. He hasn’t changed. He’s just more mature now."
That hasn’t shown this year against Detroit with Quintana deserving his results, going 0-2 with a 6.95 ERA in four starts. Victor Martinez is 13 for 27 against him, though J.D. Martinez is 3 for 17 with seven strikeouts.
The Tigers counter with Daniel Norris, who made his first start in nearly a month in Wednesday’s 7-4 win in Minnesota. Norris (2-2, 4.28) had been on the disabled list with an oblique strain and gave up only a solo home run in 3 2-3 innings. The club didn’t want him to pass 50 pitches, but that limit will be bumped to the 60-65 range Tuesday.
Neither pitcher has to worry too much about facing a hot offense.
Chicago (72-78) swept Monday’s doubleheader with 2-0 and 3-2 victories to even the season series at 7-all while winning for the seventh time in its last nine road games.
Its offense has been bleak on a 3-3 overall span with 2.5 runs per game and a .212 average. Avisail Garcia is batting .111 in his last 11 games, while Micah Johnson is in a 1-for-19 slump.
The Tigers (69-81) have dropped three straight with five runs scored and a .151 average, getting them within a defeat of their first losing season since 2008.
"We just couldn’t muster up enough offense," said manager Brad Ausmus after his club managed seven hits in two games.
J.D. Martinez is 0 for 11 on the losing streak, and Miguel Cabrera’s average has dropped from .360 to .337 while batting .189 over his last 15 games.
The two-time AL MVP still holds a 14-point lead over Boston’s Xander Bogaerts for the batting title.