Mariners-White Sox preview
CHICAGO -- Jose Quintana has never been consumed with personal numbers, but the Chicago White Sox left-hander admits that his last victory carried a little extra meaning.
After earning the 10th win in a season for the first time in his career on Aug. 21 against Oakland, Quintana can now focus on piling up more wins starting Saturday against the Mariners.
Quintana recorded nine wins in each of his past three seasons and was often the victim of not getting much run support. While that has been an issue at times this season -- including in each of his last three losses -- Quintana feels like he can breathe a bit easier after surpassing the double-digit win milestone.
"(There's) more I can do," Quintana said Friday. "(I'll take) one at a time. I'm going to focus on tomorrow and try to get another win for my team."
Quintana has had good control of his fastball of late and is making more of an effort to record quicker outs by attacking the strike zone more. Although his results of late have been mixed, surpassing the 10-win plateau may improve his focus even more.
"I'm sure (10 wins) was a mental hurdle for him," manager Robin Ventura said Friday. "It's similar when guys are close to knocking in 100 runs, it always seems like they're trying to force it instead of just letting it happen. Or a guy is trying to hit his last homer to get to a big number. You'll see how long it takes somebody to get there. But the good part is I know he's not changing who he is. He's probably feeling a little freer."
On Saturday, Quintana will face Ariel Miranda, who will make his fourth start for the Mariners after being acquired from Baltimore. Miranda has gained no-decisions in all three of his previous four starts while earning a victory after pitching an inning of relief on Aug. 9 against Detroit.
Manager Scott Servais said he has seen Miranda make steady progress, especially with his confidence in pitching at the major league level.
"He hasn't been in awe of any situation," Servais said Friday. "I think he's handled what we've thrown at him very well. He's open to trying different things whether it's a different grip on a slider or add another pitch. He's very coachable."
The Mariners' bullpen has been taxed of late as Seattle's starters have struggled to go deep into games. The Mariners used five pitchers in Thursday night's 7-6 loss before Felix Hernandez worked 7 1/3 innings in Friday's 3-1 victory that required Servais to only use closer Edwin Diaz.
Hernandez's long outing proved to be huge for Seattle's relievers, which should make for an easier road the rest of this weekend's series against the White Sox.
"(The bullpen) has been used a lot and it's caught up with them a bit," Servais said. "But every team is a little bit tired right now and we just have to figure out how to get through it."