Chicago Cubs: Box score doesn’t paint whole picture for Jose Quintana

(Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images) /

Seeking regular consistency in the starting rotation, the Chicago Cubs instead got another disappointing performance from left-hander Jose Quintana.

Let me preface by saying this. Calling Jose Quintana’s start ‘bad’ in Wednesday’s 9-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals isn’t accurate. The Chicago Cubs southpaw pitched better than the box score indicated – to say the least.

After turning in an effortless first inning, the southpaw needed more than 30 pitchers to get through the next frame, where the Royals go to him for two runs. From there, Quintana put it back on cruise, for the most part, until the bottom of the seventh inning.

At that point, we’re talking about six innings pitched allowing just two earned runs. You (and me) would take that 10 times out of 10 – no questions asked.

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Instead, Adalberto Mondesi torched him for a three-run blast to make it 5-0. Kansas City just added on from there, scoring four more runs in the eighth, blowing things wide open.

"“[The starters] are pitching well right now. We’re doing a better job. I feel really bad with this outing. I feel how I threw the ball today is not the same as the score,” Quintana said after the game. “If you see the numbers, it’s not a good outing. Homers change the game, especially with runners on base. That was a huge moment for me and a bad moment today. I just have to keep going. We throw six innings, all three guys, and I think we’re doing way better.”"

For many reasons, most of which we’ve talked about at-length, Cubs fans will never evaluate Jose Quintana in any sort of an unbiased light. That’s due largely in-part to the cost he came at – two elite prospects in Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease.

Since being traded to the South Side, both guys have blossomed into big-time prospects who will undoubtedly play critical roles for the White Sox for years to come. Meanwhile, Cubs fans expected an ‘ace’ in Quintana and, instead, got a solid number three, at best.

In 36 career starts in a Cubs uniform, the lefty boasts a 4.05 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 1.263 WHIP. Those are hardly numbers indicative of an impact arm – especially one acquired at such a steep cost.

That being said, starts like Wednesday show that Jose Quintana is perfectly able to shut down an opposing lineup on any given night. For six innings, he pretty much did just that. Then, things went sideways, leaving us with a line score that hardly tells the whole story.

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No matter the reason or cause, though, the Cubs desperately need their rotation to keep pitching well. And, despite what you may think, I’d say Quintana did just that on Wednesday, despite the late-inning troubles. If they can get six innings from their starters and take some weight off the bullpen, they stand a much better chance of returning to October baseball.