The Chicago Cubs pulled out an intense 3-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night behind an unlikely group of players.
From here on, Tuesday night’s Chicago Cubs’ victory over the Milwaukee Brewers shall be known as “The Victor Caratini Game.”
Overreaction? Yeah, maybe, but Caratini was one among several Cubs Tuesday to deliver an unexpected key performance to lead the team to a big win.
Caratini delivers in key spots
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Starting in place of struggling catcher Willson Contreras, Caratini went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. His second inning single drove in Javier Báez, giving the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of that at-bat is not the outcome, but the at-bat itself. Caratini fouled off six-consecutive pitches before hitting the single over a drawn-in Brewers’ infield.
While his RBI single was key in giving the Cubs an early insurance run, Caratini’s double truly swung the game’s momentum in the Cubs’ favor.
The Brewers failed to capitalize on a bases loaded threat in the top of the seventh inning. With the Cubs still up 2-0, Caratini lined a ball into the left field corner, driving in Tommy La Stella on a perfectly-executed hit-and-run.
Both of Caratini’s hits were huge, as the Cubs went on to win the game 3-0. However, the pitching staff threw an absolute gem behind a tremendous start from José Quintana.
Give credit where credit is due
An inconsistent Quintana surely receives a tremendous amount of criticism, whether it is fair or not. Be that as it may, he has been on quite the run recently that continued with Tuesday’s gem of a performance.
Facing a loaded Brewers lineup, Quintana allowed just three hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven batters compared to just two walks, throwing 108 pitches before exiting with the bases loaded.
Cubs fans seem to love hating on Quintana, surely to a fault. However, what he has done in ten career starts against the Brewers and in his last five overall is worthy of note.
Speaking of hating on someone, Justin Wilson has been criticized seemingly from the moment he joined the Cubs last summer. In 2018, though, he has been on a tremendous run of his own, dominating in the absence of closer Brandon Morrow.
Wilson entered in place of Quintana, delivering in dominant fashion with the game hanging in the balance. He needed just three fastballs to strike out pinch hitter Manny Pina, preserving the Cubs’ lead.
De La Rosa solid once again
Perhaps the most unexpected key performance for the Cubs came from reliever Jorge De La Rosa. The left-hander entered the game in the eighth inning and promptly shut down Brewers star outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich.
De La Rosa may be a relatively unknown name to Cubs fans, but he quietly has become one of the most trusted arms in the team’s bullpen. In 11 games (15 1/3 innings), he has a 1.76 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .182 against him in that span.
Of course, they cannot rely on the same names to deliver in key situations that ultimately lead to victories. If the Cubs get to October, they will surely take more wins like Tuesday’s (or any, for that matter).