Jose Quintana has been inconsistent early in 2018, but one team which he doesn’t struggle against is the Milwaukee Brewers. That trend continued Saturday at Wrigley Field where Q was outstanding again in seven strong innings. The Cubs took advantage of more Brewers defensive struggles to earn their second shutout victory of the series. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
Jose Quintana pitched great, keeping the Brewers completely off balance. His only problem came in the 4th inning when Lorenzo Cain made it to third with none out. A strike out, pop up, and a great defensive play by Javy Baez kept the Crew off the board.
Javy Baez hit a two-out pop up with Albert Almora on first base in the 3rd inning. The ball was caught up in the wind and was just out of the reach of shortstop Orlando Arcia. The “double” scored Almora and gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. That was all Quintana and the Cubs’ bullpen (Strop, Duensing, and Cishek) would need.
Stats That Matter
- Jose Quintana had his best start of the season: 7 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 7 K, and 1 BB. Quintana was efficient, needing only 103 pitches to go seven. He has thrown 13 scoreless innings against the Brewers in 2018.
- Jason Heyward walked and doubled to the opposite field. He also made a brilliant base-running play in the 7th inning. Tommy LaStella hit a bloop single with men on second and third and no-outs. Ben Zobrist scored easily, and when Orlando Arcia casually tossed the ball back in, J-Hey broke for the plate and scored a bonus run.
- Zobrist and Kris Bryant returned to the lineup Saturday. It was especially nice to see Bryant back after his scary hit-by-pitch in Denver. KB was 0-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
The Cubs have won three straight for the first time all season and are mostly healthy after some early injury scares. Saturday marked the fourth time the Cubs have shutout the Brewers already in the 2018 season.
Chicago looks to complete the four-game sweep Sunday afternoon. Tyler Chatwood faces off against Zach Davies at 1:20 p.m. CT. Television coverage is available on NBC Sports Chicago.