Jose Quintana has been hiding in plain sight. Since his first full season in 2013, he has yet to post an ERA above 3.51 and has hit the 200-inning mark in each of those years. But on a White Sox team that hasn't finished higher than fourth in that time, and hidden behind the Stretch Armstrong-like Chris Sale, the left-hander has been overlooked at times.
Perhaps it goes all the way to when he was a child, when his decision to even play baseball came by mere happenstance:
A few interesting Quintana facts: Decided to play baseball as a youngster in Colombia because all the soccer teams were full.- Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) March 11, 2017
Consider him a hidden ace no more. Currently set to lead the White Sox rotation despite Chicago GM Rick Hahn dangling the starter in trade talks, Quintana made his case for ace status on Friday night. Toeing the rubber for Colombia, Quintana faced off against an All-Star lineup in Team USA.
That's not hyperbole either. While Quintana has one All-Star Game to his name, the starting lineup for Team USA combined for 30 All-Star Game appearances. And yet, they were powerless against the left-hander, going hitless until the sixth inning. Of course, were it not for the Z-post route that Tito Polo ran on Adam Jones' fly ball, the no-no would have ended in the first.
Between a second-inning walk from Paul Goldschmidt -- America's First Baseman (a fitting name in this competition) -- and Brandon Crawford's two-out single in the sixth, Quintana set down 13 batters in a row.
He did it by heavily relying on his low-90s fastball -- not that surprising given that we're still in March -- with a rare changeup, cutter or curve mixed in to keep batters off kilter.
Unfortunately for Quintana, that one single would come back to haunt team Colombia. Lifted after Crawford's single, Team USA scored two runs in the inning to tie the game at two before Adam Jones gave Team USA the victory with a walk-off single in the 10th.
Of course, Quintana's counterpart, Chris Archer looked pretty sharp, too. He pitched four no-hit innings, striking out three, before he was lifted in the fifth.