There’s been a lot made of what the Chicago Cubs gave up to get Jose Quintana. In the last two starts, he’s made it look worth it.
Look, we aren’t going to go nuts here with the Chicago Cubs‘ Jose Quintana and his last two starts. We’re talking about the Pirates and the Marlins. Neither of these teams has much firepower. But you still have to execute, and he’s been doing that. He’s won in consecutive starts, and in impressive fashion.
After shutting out the Pirates for seven innings in his last start, Quintana matched that with another seven-plus innings of shutout baseball. In those 14 innings of works, he’s struck out 18, walked just one while allowing opponents to hit just .192. His goal was to use the changeup more this season, and he’s done it with perfection.
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The Cubs bullpen seems to be following suit, but it’s much easier when you only have to cover two innings of baseball. Early on, the starters weren’t going very deep, and they were called on to get five or six innings. Brandon Kintzle and Pedro Strop closed out the final two innings for the Cubs.
Jason Heyward and Daniel Descalso have continued their hot start, as Heyward reached twice with two hits while Descalso was on four times, including a single to score David Bote which was the game-winning RBI.
Bote knocked in a run later in the game, while Javier Baez hit his fifth home run of the season in the eighth inning. Ben Zobrist added a sacrifice fly as a pinch-hitter as the Cubs won game two of the three-game series.
The tough luck in the early part of the season continued for Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. Rizzo went hitless in four at-bats, seeing his average fall to .169. We watched him start the season last year like this, and he made a fantastic recovery. For now, the Cubs have been able to win without his and Bryant’s bat producing–although Bryant gave it his best.
Marlins Park is not the friendliest to hitters, and Bryant was likely robbed of a home run to due to its insane dimensions. Still, another 0-for-5 for Bryant who has seemed lost at the plate to start the year.
The Cubs will look for the sweep tonight with Cole Hamels (2-0. 3.79) on the mound facing Sandy Alcantara (1-1, 4.24) for the Marlins. Hamels comes off of a stellar start in which he went eight innings, allowing just one run and striking out six Angels. Hamels is the only starter for the Cubs that has thrown at least 100 pitches in each of his starts.