Chicago Cubs: Jose Quintana riding high as season nears its end

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

After turning in a maddeningly inconsistent stretch of starts earlier this season, Chicago Cubs lefty Jose Quintana seems to have turned the corner in a big way.

Jose Quintana’s has had one of the more up-and-down seasons of anyone on this 2018 Chicago Cubs roster. In three of four starts from July 28 through Aug. 15, he gave up at least five runs and won just one of those outings.

Fans started to question his worth, as we all remember the haul given to the South Siders for Quintana’s services back in 2016. Entering Aug. 19, the Cubs held a 3 1/2 game lead over Milwaukee in the Central. It was imperative Quintana step up in order to hold off the Brew Crew.

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Over the last month, Quintana has done just that, all while proving his worth to the organization.

Since Aug. 19, Quintana has gone 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA, which ranks 11th amongst NL pitchers in this time frame. Opponents are batting a weak .206 and Quintana is averaging 8.39 strikeouts per 9 innings.

He has gone at least five innings in his last six starts and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs while doing so. It’s also worth noting that two of his three wins this past month have come against the Brewers. This shows us that he’s taken the ball in high-pressure situations, locked in and delivered clutch performances. If the Cubs hang on and win this division, Jose Quintana’s resurgence will be a top reason why.

The southpaw’s dominance this past month has been critical in the Cubs maintaining their slim lead over the Brewers, but his performance in this stretch run is even more important. Quintana has two more starts on the docket. His next comes against his old team on the South Side where he’ll face off against Lucas Giolito.

The young White Sox hurler has found a rhythm this past month, going 2-2 with a 4.28 ERA and an opponent average of .220.  Meanwhile, Quintana’s last is against Pittsburgh where he should square off against one of the hottest pitchers in baseball, Trevor Williams. Williams has posted a 3-0 record and 1.52 ERA in this past month, ranking second amongst NL Pitchers.

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With such a slim lead in the division, each game the Cubs play here on out is crucial. Quintana needs to finish the season locked in and give his team the best he’s got. Then, turn his attention to October baseball.