The Chicago Cubs rode a four-run first inning and another superb outing from a starting pitcher to power past the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.
When the Los Angeles Dodgers come to town these days, it’s a big deal. The Chicago Cubs and their West Coast rivals have had their share of memorable games in the postseason over the last few seasons. Tuesday night marked another one of those memorable contests.
Left-hander Jose Quintana got the ball and, for the third consecutive start, he was terrific, going seven strong innings, only giving up four hits, two earned runs and striking out seven. This has been without a doubt Quintana’s best three-game stretch in a Cubs uniform and also marks the first time since May 2016 the southpaw has pitched 7-plus innings in three straight outings.
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This was the type of pitcher that Cubs fans hoped for in the midseason 2017 blockbuster trade that sent two of the Cubs’ top prospects, Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, to the South Side in hopes of bolstering the rotation for another run to the World Series.
The offense got going quickly in the first as the Cubs loaded the bases for All-Star catcher Willson Contreras. After getting into an 0-2 count, Contreras ripped a ball down the left field line past a diving Justin Turner to score Ben Zobrist, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez.
Then, a guy making a name for himself for getting big knocks in big spots, Daniel Descalso hit a double into the left-field corner to score another run. In the second, Anthony Rizzo hit an opposite field home run to continue his recent hot streak that comes on the heels of yet another slow start.
Who is the most exciting player in baseball? Cubs fans may be a bit biased, but everyone knows the answer is Javier Baez and he once again proved why with an incredible stop-and-go baserunning move in the second.
He hit a little dribbler to Dodgers first baseman David Freese. When Freese picked the ball up and tried to tag Baez out, El Mago had other ideas as he juked out the veteran infielder and dove to the bag and was called safe. After watching a magical play like that, we all know how appropriate his nickname truly is. The versatile infielder also hit his seventh home run of the season to right field later in the game. Five out of his seven home runs have been to the opposite field.
The Cubs are now 11-10 and over .500 for the first time since their Opening Day win. Chicago and the Dodgers are back in action Wednesday as left-hander Cole Hamels (3-0, 2.77) takes on right-hander Walker Buehler (2-0, 5.40).