Jose Quintana has been incredible for the Chicago Cubs in August, fanning seven Pittsburgh Pirates last night in a scoreless seven-inning performance.
The month of August has been filled with strikeouts and a rapidly declining earned run average for Chicago Cubs lefty Jose Quintana. Through four starts spanning 26 innings, the southpaw has notched 33 strikeouts, allowing only four runs, while showcasing electric stuff that will hopefully help him maintain consistency long-term.
On Sunday night, Quintana won a game on the road, which has been virtually impossible for the 2019 Cubs. But after taking two of three from Pittsburgh, the team finally has their first road series win in three months – embarrassing, but true.
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For the most part, the southpaw has looked good all year with the occasional bad outing mixed in. He takes most of his games to the sixth inning or later and rarely gets lit up for more than four runs in a start. Quintana is walking and letting fewer people on base in 2019 which is driving his success.
He has posted a WHIP of 1.255 and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is sitting at 3.64, both of which would be some of the best numbers he’s put up in his career.
Prior to the start against Pittsburgh, Quintana struck out a career-high 14 in a dominant outing against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Quintana could not have picked a better time to heat up, either. With the bullpen blowing five-run leads in the bottom of the ninth, to the offense at times looking dead, to Jon Lester and Cole Hamels underperforming as of late, shut-down starting pitching is absolutely critical if Chicago has any chance of winning another division crown.
This also adds playoff roster questions, such as who the starting pitchers will be. Joe Maddon will likely have to make some tough decisions regarding the usage of veteran postseason arms like Lester vs the hot arms like Quintana. He probably would not have been a top-three starter a month ago for this team, but, again, with Hamels and Lester struggling it seems as though every day he inches closer toward grabbing a potential postseason start.
Jose Quintana has been a huge piece for the Cubs in a time where not much has been going right. His continued success will be necessary in winning the NL Central, where the Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals now share the top spot.