After he gave up five runs in the Angels’ 6-1 loss to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night, José Quintana was clinging to his experience to help him through.
“I’ve been in this position in my career before, and it’s really hard,” Quintana said after the game in Arlington, Texas. “Believe me, it’s a tough night to sleep. I don’t have the time to wait. There is no crying. Keep going and make adjustments and go pitch.”
The Angels signed Quintana to a one-year deal over the winter, and four starts into his tenure with his new team he has a 10.13 ERA. He gave reason for hope last week, when he gave up one run in five innings after changing his position on the pitching rubber.
But on Tuesday night, that didn’t help.
Quintana gave up a pair of homers: a first-inning homer by Nick Solak, who hit another in the seventh, and a two-run homer by Joey Gallo in the third.
Quintana was eventually knocked out of the game when he issued a walk and gave up two straight hits in the fourth.
“Games like tonight are really frustrating because my arm feels great, physically,” Quintana said. “My pitches feel good. A couple things I couldn’t do and I paid for that.”
Manager Joe Maddon, who had Quintana when he was successful with the Chicago Cubs, said he’s puzzled by his troubles because his fastball velocity has been good.
“You look at the board and whenever I see Q throw 92 I feel pretty good about it,” Maddon said. “And for whatever reason, it just didn’t work tonight, so we’ve got to look at that pretty closely.”
Three bad starts are not likely enough to get the Angels to pull the plug on Quintana.
The Angels do have an off day on Thursday and a six-man rotation, so they could conceivably just skip Quintana’s next turn to allow him to work on whatever is wrong.
“Right now I’m thinking about what happened tonight and how I can fix it,” Quintana said. “My confidence is at a good level. I have a couple days to think about what I need to do, to watch my videos, watch the positive things and what I need to do. I have time.”
The Angels’ hitters couldn’t do enough to bail out Quintana, pushing home just one run against Mike Foltynewicz in 5-1/3 innings.
They wasted a leadoff double in the first inning and back-to-back singles to lead off the fifth. In that inning, they had the bases loaded with two outs and Anthony Rendon hit a flyout.
Rendon came up empty in all four trips to the plate, including three with at least one runner in scoring position.
In two games since coming off the injured list, Rendon is hitless in eight at-bats.
“He feels fine, there’s nothing wrong there,” Maddon said. “We just have to keep throwing him out there, giving him at-bats. I watch him in pregame. He looked outstanding. Talking to him, he feels wonderful. It’s one of those things you’ve got to work through.”