Chicago Cubs: Jose Quintana makes 2nd career start vs Phillies

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 19: Jose Quintana
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 19: Jose Quintana /

Though they lost Thursday night, the Chicago Cubs head to the city of Brotherly Love after consecutive series wins to take on the Philadelphia Phillies.

Players Weekend is upon us as the Chicago Cubs take on the Philadelphia Phillies Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.

‘Q’ is for Quintana

Jose Quintana (8-10, 4.47 ERA), affectionately known as ‘Q’ as his jersey will indicate for Friday’s Players Weekend start, will toe the rubber for his second career start against the Phillies and Jerad Eickhoff (3-7, 4.46 ERA).

Quintana is coming off consecutive wins in recent outings. Last time out against Toronto he went six innings, allowing two earned runs on just four hits.

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For the month of August, Quintana is 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA and has five of seven quality starts for the North Siders. He has not made it past six innings since his Cubs debut against the Orioles July 16.

Over his last 14 starts, Quintana has not given up more than six hits, and his opponent batting average is .209 as a member of the Cubs. With the White Sox, it was .246.

The opposition

Eickhoff has not made it past six innings in any start since April. He’s also been dealing with decreased velocity as his fastball is averaging 90.4 mph, down from 91.6 mph the past two seasons. In four August starts it’s only averaging 89.3 mph.

In his last start against the Giants, he went 4 2/3 innings pitched, allowing four earned runs on eight hits. While the Phillies won the game 12-9, Eickhoff got the no decision.

Like the Reds, the Phillies feature a young core that can be dangerous at the plate.

Rookie outfielder/first baseman Rhys Hoskins has already made MLB history through his first 15 MLB games by hitting eight home runs and picking up 19 RBI. He ties two other players all-time to hit eight home runs in his first 15 games.

On Thursday, the 3-4-5 combo of outfielder Nick Williams, left fielder Hoskins, and first baseman Tommy Joseph went 7-for-14 with eight RBI and four runs scored. The team also put up eight runs Wednesday night in a win over the Marlins, and Hoskins had five RBI.

Friday’s lineups

The Cubs enter the weekend tilt leading the league in homers (63) and lead MLB in runs (222). Since the absence of Willson Contreras, the Cubs have picked it up offensively, getting major contributions from Anthony Rizzo along the way.

The reigning NL Player of the Week is hitting .391 over the last seven days with five RBI and has 18 for the month. Over the last seven days, the Cubs, as a team, has five homers, 37 RBI, and .284 average.

Next: Is Kris Bryant “struggling” this season?

What’s next

Game 2 of the weekend set will feature Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.52 ERA) versus Ben Lively (1-4, 3.70 ERA).

First pitch from Philadelphia will begin at 6:05 p.m. CT.