Chicago Cubs: Cubs hope Contreras’ return reignites offense

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 28: Jose Quintana
MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 28: Jose Quintana /

Looking to snap skid, Tuesday marks the critical start to a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets. The probables: Quintana vs Gsellman.

Jose Quintana (9-11, 4.32 ERA) looks to be forming into the pitcher the Chicago Cubs and their fans thought they were getting when he was acquired from the White Sox in July.

They’ll need more of that as the Cubs welcome the New York Mets into town to open a three-game set Tuesday from Wrigley Field.

Tuesday’s probables

Quintana is on the mound Tuesday night opposing Robert Gsellman (6-6, 5.44 ERA). It will be Quintana’s second career start versus the Mets, and first since last season.

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Since joining the North Side, Quintana is 4-3, 4.03 ERA over 10 starts. Over his last four outings, he has recorded three quality starts.

The lefty threw six scoreless frames last time out against the Pirates. As Quintana looks to keep rolling, he and the Cubs will try to snap their recent three-game skid after a sweep by Milwaukee, who sits 2 1/2 games back.

While the Mets don’t have much to play for these days, assuming the role of spoiler, their starting pitcher, however, looks to continue strong play of late.

Gsellman, 1-1, 2.76 ERA over his last three starts, aims to provide his team with more of a potential glimpse of what they may have for their rotation going into next year.

In his last outing against the Phillies, the righty earned the win, allowing three runs, two earned over six innings. Gsellman will make his first career start against the Cubs.

Contreras starts

After being outscored 20-3 over the weekend, Joe Maddon and the Cubs hope their first off day Monday after 20 consecutive games, plus the addition of Willson Contreras to the starting lineup will revitalize a cold offense.

He pinch-hit  Sunday (0-for-1) and will make his first start behind the plate since Aug. 8. He played first base Aug. 9 when he went down with injury.

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What’s next

Wednesday the Chicago Cubs face off with the New York Mets. Matt Harvey (5-4, 5.82 ERA) opposes Jon Lester (10-7, 4.35 ERA).

First pitch set for 7:05 pm C.T.