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The Strike Zone

White Sox starter Jose Quintana can't get anyone out. Literally.

Jose Quintana, who is going to want to forget today's outing as soon as he can.Jose Quintana, who is going to want to forget today's outing as soon as he can. (Morry Gash/AP)

Let this post be a gentle reminder: No matter how bad a day you had at work, it probably still went better than Jose Quintana's afternoon. The young White Sox starter faced nine batters in his Cactus League start against Oakland and didn't retire a single one of them, allowing nine earned runs on seven hits, two walks and a homer before being pulled. It was a brutal day for Quintana, and it would've been historically bad had it been a regular-season start.

In case you were wondering, the inning went: Double, single, homer, walk, walk, double, single, single, triple before Quintana got the hook. And yes, you read that right: Quintana gave up a cycle in the span of nine batters. There was also a coaching visit to the mound after the second walk, which apparently didn't yield the right result. Quintana's removal didn't stop the hit parade immediately, though, as reliever Deunte Heath gave up an RBI single to the first batter he faced, Coco Crisp, who had doubled to start the inning. Heath then finally recorded the first out of the inning, striking out Nick Punto, and got out of the inning without allowing any more runs, though he did load the bases on two walks and Crisp's base hit.

Of course, as ghastly a day as it was for Quintana, he can take solace in the fact that, being spring training, the stats don't count. Though if they had, he would've made some serious history. According to Baseball-Reference's Play Index, since 1914, no starter has ever faced nine or more batters without recording an out to begin a game. Five pitchers have made it to eight hitters before being pulled, with the most recent being Paul Wilson, who managed the feat with the Reds on May 6, 2005 against the Dodgers. In a 13-6 loss, Wilson gave up eight earned runs on five hits, a walk and two homers, hitting two batters on top of that, before being yanked after just 25 pitches (and only 13 strikes). To make it even worse for Wilson, that was the second time he'd allowed that many hitters to reach without recording an out. Just two years prior, on July 10, 2003, Wilson was smacked around for eight runs (seven earned) on six hits and a walk, also for Cincinnati, in an 11-2 loss to Houston.

So cheer up, Jose. It was a bad day, but at least it didn't end up being the single worst start in Major League history.
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