Case of the Mondays; Braves 6, Cubs 5

itmakesmemad

Today the Cubs and Braves got to make up the weather-postponed game of April 15, which means wearing the Jackie Robinson 42s, and also makes for an odd home-and-home setup.  After today's game, the teams will head to Atlanta for the next three days.

I've got 8 days left before summer vacation starts, and this one started before the job allows me to turn on the game.  From now until the end of the school year, I'm going to do a "highlights and low-lights" type of recap.  I would just feel disingenuous in trying to report on stuff I didn't get to watch live.  Hope you all understand that.

For Starters

Neither Julio Teheran nor José Quintana set the world on fire today, but Teheran at least put his team in position to win.  Quintana struggled with command, walking three, and only throwing 57 strikes among 99 pitches.  When he was getting the ball near the plate, he was hit, and hit hard.  He gave up three home runs, including a lead-off home run to Ozzie Albies.  Those 99 pitches were not enough to get Quintana through the fifth inning, when he not only gave up a three-run homer to José Bautista, but also could not retire Teheran to end the inning.  After allowing another hit to Albies, Quintana was done for the day.  His ERA now sits at 5.23 on the season.

Particularly infuriating was the fact that backup catcher Tyler Flowers - he of the .518 OPS entering the game - dominated Quintana.  Possibly there was some advantage to having been teammates on the south side, but the Cubs could not get him out today.  He hit a two-run homer off Quintana in the third inning to give the Braves their second lead, and ended up 2-for-2 on the day with three walks.  The two RBIs doubled his season total to four.  You can't let that guy be the one to beat you.

Bullpen Day

The bullpen has been one of the Cubs real strengths this year, and they had to be again, in order to keep the game within reach.  Steve Cishek, whose arm may fall off by season's end, had to come in to wrap up the fifth inning.  Brian Duensing walked the bases loaded in his inning, but escaped unharmed.  Pedro Strop is good, by the way.  He allowed ZERO runs for the 16th time in his last 17 outings, going 1-2-3 in the seventh.  Good Justin Wilson pitched a scoreless eighth, allowing a walk.  I don't typically like to make excuses for poor play based on umpires, but it looked as though Wilson was squeezed on the low part of the zone.  That is to say, Wilson wasn't his wild self.  Justin Hancock pitched a scoreless ninth, thanks in part to a caught stealing attempt by Charlie Culberson.  There was a short scare, as it looked like Javier Báez may have been spiked on the play.   However, he was able to stay in and make the final play of the inning.

Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

The Cubs did actually have the lead in this game early on.  Albert Almora Jr. got the Cubs on the board with a two-run shot in the bottom of the second inning.  Teheran hung a breaking ball in the middle of the zone, and Albert made him pay with a shot to the left field bleachers.  After Quintana gave up the lead in the top of the third inning, Kris Bryant grabbed it right back.  Bryant jumped all over a 78mph offering and delivered it to the bleachers to give the Cubs a temporary 4-3 lead.  It was short-lived, but hey, it's better to hit two-run dingers than solo shots, right? And early in this one, it looked like there might be more to come.

The Phantom Rally

You knew that it was coming at some point.  The Cubs really struggled to string together hits throughout the game, and seemingly grounded out to Albies at second base about 17 times on the day.  When they weren't doing that, it was Javy getting robbed on diving stops by whichever random third baseman was in as a defensive replacement for Joey Bats.  The Cubs finally put together an attempted rally in the bottom of the 9th.

After Javy's ground out, Victor Caratini singled up the middle.  He took second on a passed ball, though Kyle Schwarber walked in the at bat anyway to put runners at first and second.  Almora collected his third hit of the game on a broken bat line drive to left field.  Caratini wasn't able to score because he had to make sure the tweener line drive wasn't caught, and also because he runs like Victor Caratini.  David Bote was given the opportunity to become the latest Cub cult hero, but eventually struck out.  Ian Happ was brought in to pinch hit for Tommy La Stella with lefty A.J. Minter on the mound.  After starting out 0-2, Minter came too far inside, and hit Happ to bring in a run, and put Kris Bryant at the plate to be the hero.

But of course, the deck was stacked against him.  I mean, not really.  Minter is nothing special, and Bryant is BAE.  I mean, WGN sabotaged him by flashing his stats.  Of course, they showed a .472 batting average and OPS of 1.500+ against lefties, so you knew his fate was sealed.  Bryant flew out to left field to end the game.

Source: FanGraphs

Going Forward

The two teams will fly to Atlanta tonight to play a three-game series.  It goes without saying that the Cubs need to get more from their starting pitching. That looks like a dubious task tomorrow, as Yu Darvish will be on the mound.  I don't want to disparage the righty, but he's clearly struggled to start his Cubs career (0-3, 6.00 ERA), and he'll be coming off the DL after a bad bout of the flu.  He'll face Mike Foltynotgonnaworkhereanymore, whose numbers look alright, though he struggles to pitch into the sixth inning on the regular.

Here's hoping the Cubs realize that they don't have to do the whole "win five-lose five" thing all season.

 

Filed under: Uncategorized

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Any particular reason, like an actually legitimate reason, that Contreras didn't play today?
    Also, any reason Happ didn't pinch hit ahead of Bote?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Contreras was due for a day off, actually would have had a game off against the sox, if he wasn't hitting so well against them.
    As for Bote PH'g - I think Maddon just felt there was a greater likelihood that Bote would make contact in that situation.

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Even more questionable is where was Russell. Does anyone think that the FO has something working? SP?

  • In reply to willycat:

    Don't think the front office has anything going with Russell. Way too early for trades. Won't know for two months what the greatest need will be.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Agreed I don't think the teams needs are even clear enough yet for theo to make a trade even if he wants to. Going into the year I though our position players and starting rotation were our strengths while the bullpen was a weakness ahd now our bullpens been great yet our SP ESP darvish and Q who you could've argued were our 1-2 coming into the year are suddenly question marks. Baseballs a weird game though and in my experience the regular seasons a roller coaster of ups and downs so I'm not making any generalizations until we're in the middle of June

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I don’t think most people who have thought Q was a 1-2. I still take Hendricks and Lester over Q going into this season.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I don't think those are our top guys but they were our highest projected guys on most sites like fa graphs so I'm just saying you can make an argument that they were that's all I was saying

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    For what we signed Yu for and what gave up to get Q I would agree they should be the aces.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Incredibly disappointing start to the season for both and I'm afraid to say that we're only gonna go as far as those guys take us unfortunately unless chatwood ahd one of the 2 can break out

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    They had them higher then Hendricks??? That’s why I trust my eyes and look at the end results.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    It also wouldn't be so far fetched if these 2 didn't start stinking it up the moment that they arrived to the Cubs and pitched to their career numbers. Just baffling with 2 guys that had success in the AL with the DH you gotta ask does it have anything to do with having 2 inexperienced catchers who aren't the strongest framers or is it maybe just that pitchers have trouble catching on to our complex pitching plans for each player. It just seems like a lot of pitchers have been bafflingly regressing with their command and Im not referring to only walks after they join the Cubs

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Interesting point. Who was darvish catcher and how does he rank in framing? Same with Q with white Sox?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Off the top of my head darvish was with giminez, Jon lucroy, aj Ellis with lad who I consider all to be better receivers then contreras just going off the eye test then Q has had so many different catchers that I lose track but idc what the framing metrics say but my eye tells me contreras pitch framing is his biggest area of weakness along with the throwing errors although don't mean to put him down I thing he more than makes up for those flaws but it's hard not to notice that our pitching staff as a whole hasn't been quite as good with contreras as our lead catcher vs the grandpa rossy/montero tandem. Remember our 2016 staff pre contreras had a historic year before he became the every day guy. Don't mean to pick on contreras as I'm just speculating but I'd guess the numbers back this their up overall

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Pardon me Ellis wasn't the catcher for la last season it was some new guy whose name I'm blanking in but looks like a solid receiver from what I've seen

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    With framing that only helps pitches that are not swung at. I get that May change the count and what pitch he may throw but I’d be curious what his swing and miss rate has been and % of strikes he has thrown the last 3-4 years.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    The Cubbies greatest need would be Manny Machado at short stop. Theo was right saying he wouldn't mortgage the farm system for a rental and I couldn't agree more. unless they could do a sign and trade but not likely with Scott Boras at the helm.
    Don't forget, all of the errors and missed double plays have run the pitch counts up on our pitchers. These guys are not machines and its depressing not having a good defense behind them. On the brighter side, I'm glad Javy is turning into a top notch player.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ronvet69:

    If we are worried about "errors" then the guy to get rid of is Baez (8) rather than Russell (3).

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Baez is playing much better lately. I'm not not worried about the errors , however, the Cubbies are making metal errors in the field. Its up to the management to get this in check.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ronvet69:

    !!!
    Errors are a problem until it is pointed out that Baez has almost 3x the number of errors as Russell. Then you are not worried about errors?
    !!!

  • In reply to willycat:

    Forget the front office for a minute. Top of the fifth and Jose Quintana was gassed. O.K. so it wasn't his day. After Atlanta's pitcher led off with a single, it was time for a change. Where was Joe Maddon ? In the dugout, waiting for ?????? what. Its bad enough the Cubbies gave away three games in St. Louis, this game was very winnable.
    Sorry Joe, this loss is on you ! The Cubs defense was also
    very bad and this wasn't the first time. Keep it up and Joe will be looking for a job.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I have to say I completely agree with your point, do you think Joe will be able to, God-willing, swallow his ego (so to speak), and let someone else make decisions on changing pitchers?
    I would try something like that before I completely switched from Joe, but I would say switching from him may be the best option, if he's unwilling to adapt and change from his seemingly total lack of ability to change pitchers at the right time.......

  • Quintanas era is 5.75 when not facing the brewers.

  • In reply to bolla:

    In his defense I was criticizing him during the game because I couldn't watch the game live at my office but watching the replay he was extremely unlucky on that Bautista hr. That balls off the plate in on the hands and that's a routine fly ball on even a regular warm day at wrigley but carried out after getting caught in that jet stream. In addition we know the umps and defense didn't do him any favors and caused him to throw a lot more high stress pitches then he should've through only 5 innings. Not really defending him just putting his line into context.

    As someone who saw him a ton on the white sox though I think he's clearly dealing with issues commanding his fastball with the Cubs. He had Jon Lester type fastball command with the sox and it just hasn't looked sharp for the most part with the Cubs. The only time I felt that he's been in his normal good form in his Cubs tenure was last September and his playoff start vs the nationals and besides that he's been very inconsistent and hasn't pitched to his ability nor my expectations of him. I know I preach patience a lot but it's still too early to get over dramatic with him he's still 4-3 with an era that's a bit inflated from his 1st start vs the braves which were in some of the worst conditions that I've personally ever seen in a baseball game. The stuff is still there so I fully expect better days ahead though. Says a lot about how weird this seasons gone when I dread the Q/darvish combos days to pitch though

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    You're much more optimistic than I am and I hope you're right but I'm losing patience.The cubs could of got verlander for less and he's been much more dominant than quintana since he was traded and has way more mileage on his arm and is like 6-7 years older. Quintana has been underwhelming this season so far to say the least. I don't know what the astros are doing but they are getting way better results out of their pitchers than the cubs are.

  • In reply to bolla:

    He’s been a huge disappointment, no question. Can’t argue in the least.

    If you would have told me Darvish and Q would have been this bad, I’d have given 1000 to 1 odds. And just think we are within arms reach of first.

    Still time, but very disappointed thus far.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I get that but let's be honest most people considered verlander to be a declining asset plus his contract was a major burden. I definitely didn't hear many people clamoring for verlander last season and he was really our only alternative bc the Pirates weren't trading cole to us let's get real. Idk if he juiced or what but verlander suddenly became revitalized after going to hous. I think we all agree that Q isn't pitching to expectations and it feels even worse bc theo arguably overpaid for his services by trading a premiere prospect but he does have somewhat of a history of starting slow in multiple seasons and he has shown the ability to find it in the past. I remember he didn't have a great April-may last year and then didn't have a great 1st August as a cub before locking in in September. He went on to have a really nice playoff start vs washingtons Max Scherzer then went toe to toe against kershaw game 1 on 3 days rest before having a rotten game 5 vs LA that left a sour taste in fans mouth. I get that we have higher expectations for him given his price but I think contrary to public belief he did help us overall last season and the trade for him was somewhat of a turning point last season. hes not off to an encouraging start but there's plenty of time for him to make this a successful season and in general he has been a better pitcher as the season goes on. For me additionally as long as we get to the playoffs and he comes through during those big games then I can forgive a few early season bad games vs a red hot braves team. I think we also have to credit the braves too I think they benefitted from the wind a bit today but they had a lot of good patient abs and played better cleaner defense then we did today and deserved to win

  • In reply to bolla:

    That is a pure hindsight statement. Look at what Verlander was going before Houston took a big chance on him. And don't forget the salary and years. He looked like he was literally done as major league starter.

    Weird game for sure.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Yup I don't think I saw a single person last year who would've vouched for verlander as being a higher value target over Q baseballs a tough fake sometimes

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Once Verlander got to Houston, he started pitching consistently up in the zone, as all the Houston pitchers pitch. It makes his over the top curve devastating after seeing his fastball up. The Astros are only paying $10Mil of his salary annually this year and next year.
    If I remember correctly, the Cubs were concerned Verlander would not be able to pitch effectively to the end of the contract.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to kkhiavi:

    I also watched practically all of Quintana's games with the white sox and i said this the day the cubs got him in the trade that he was nothing but a decent pitcher on a bad team and his stuff is mediocre. The Q trade will be the trade that finally silences the Brock for Broglio trade for good. Oh and by the way Eloy is now hitting .340 something and is absolutely dominating AA pitching.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Nobody said he was Chris sale but if he pitches anything like he did with the white sox then we'd be really happy. His stuff isn't mediocre too what stud left starting pitcher throws 95+ outside of kershaw. 92/93 with a plus curveball and change up with generally plus command is a pretty effective arsenal for a lefty.

    Either way we all know you're a cardinals fan posing as a cub fan to irritate people on this site so all I really have to say is I take Q over Michael wacha in a playoff start every single time

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Forget Quintana, he didn't lose this game. He didn't pitch well but at least he got the Cubbies into the fifth. In one of the early innings only one error was charged, that was a gift from the scorekeeper. There were three miscues in that inning.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    You mean Quintana the years PRIOR to getting him. Last year with the Sox he was just as bad as he was with the Cubs. Also, it's time to start thinking this is what you get with Q. He was able to hide on the South Side but has been NOTHING but inconsistent Jeckyll and Hyde since he got here. I can't trust that in a playoff game. No thank you. I honestly believe this has the chance to be one of the 3 worst trades in Cubs history. Jimenez is going to be a perennial all star and Cease could be really good as well. We got a hit or miss pitcher in return. Yes that is in hind sight ,but that's what we got. Truly disappointing.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    Respectfully Q didn't stink last season he ranked top 20 in war the 2nd half and had a 3.8-3.9 ERA with the cubs. Did we have high expectations of him given his price? Yes and even last year he pitched at the lower ends of my expectations admittedly but even in a year like 2017 that we both agree was an off year based on what we've seen in his sox tenure he was still useful and lets remember he outdueled max scherzer in game 3 of a 1-1 series in a low scoring affair. In my view, you can argue that we don't win that series without him. So again while I have higher expectations of him because I've seen him put together a sustained stretch of dominance with the white sox that I haven't seen in his cubs tenure I also think that to say he's been flat out awful overall in his cubs tenure is an exaggeration. He's off to a disappointing start to 2018 I agree but this start is an outlier to any season that he's put up in his major league career and I choose to believe that he'll be closer to the pitcher that we saw for many years including what we consider a down 2017 to what we've seen in a very limited sample size in 2018.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    AA pitching...

  • In reply to bolla:

    The whole cubs staff has tremendous stats vs brewers. Kind of like the cards vs the reds.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    When you arbitrarily eliminate data from your data set that doesn't fit your pre-conceived notion I would call that data mining. It rarely yields insight.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    Tell you what, if he has a 5.75 when not facing the Brewers why can't we also say he has a 2.88 ERA when not facing ATL. Since he is unlikely to face ATL again this year I will settle for a guy who dominates a team ahead of us in the standings.

    In case you are wondering he has a 16.71 ERA against ATL.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Those starts vs milwaukee also looking pretty pivotal when you look at how good they've been when they haven't faced the cubs. That bullpens going to be really good with knebel, hader (whose absolutely sensational btw) and jeremy jeffress pitching great. Pretty good team to have a lot of success against if you ask me I think they're really good and our biggest threat this season for the division.

  • Tommy Birch, the Iowa Cubs beat writer, just tweeted that he is hearing and guessing that it will be Alzolay brought up for a start in Saturday's DH.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    That will be a game I will not want to miss seeing.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    ME TOO !

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Maybe I jumped the gun. He pitched tonight. Gave up 5 ER 3 HR in 4.2 innings. Probably just a bad night :)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    He did not pitch well today. I hope it was just an off day because he has pitched well before this. I'll be watching.

  • I think that Q is one of those players who was under rated for a long time. Then people started talking about how underrated he was, then in turn he became overrated. The reason that he was overlooked on those White Sox teams was because he is not a TOR pitcher. He was the best possible version of a number 3 pitcher. A consistent innings eater who will keep your team in the game. Because of that and his durability he racked up WAR, because WAR is a counting stat. That and his contract made him look better on paper then he was on the field. He was not a pitcher that scared you.
    In 2014 he was #10 in WAR (according to Fangraphs). Behind him in WAR are several pitchers that you would rather have had starting a big game including Cueto, Strasburg, Bumgardner, and Hammels.
    When the Cubs traded away their last prime assets the expectation was that they would get an Ace. They did not. Q never was an Ace and he been getting worse. At the time of the trade I did not think that the Cubs got a premium enough talent for what they gave away and I think the available evidence backs that up.

  • In reply to OverTheLake:

    Perfectly said

  • In reply to OverTheLake:

    Nobody expected an ace when Quintana was acquired, there are maybe 4-5 “aces” in the entire league. What was expected was a solid #2 like Jon Lester, whose numbers he closely mirrored for several years, and he simply hasn’t performed. I became aware of Quintana when a friend who knew of my proclivity for big lefties like Cole Hammels and Lester suggested that he was a similar pitcher and because he pitched behind Chris Sale, nobody was paying attention. After that I made an effort to watch him a lot and he was very, very good. Last year he struggled some but was still hardly bad posting a decent ERA and FIP and one of the best years in his career for K/9. This year he’s been awful but he’s been bad in different ways. Early on the stuff was good but the command was off. Then he had some games where his FB and slider had zero movement. He’s shown some combination of these problems in nearly every game. Still you can see the raw stuff. I have no idea if he’ll put it all together again this year but sometimes good pitchers struggle from time to time. Verlander looked done three years ago for instance. All that said if the velo loss is permanent Quintana needs to learn how to pitch differently and some guys figure it out and some guys don’t. None of us have any idea which group he falls in and it’s foolish to think we do.

  • In reply to TC154:

    His velocity was lower yesterday but it hasn't been that low in other starts but I agree that the change in velocity is somewhat troubling on a start to start basis but I think the reason is more likely that he maybe dealing with a dead arm period rather then saying he's losing velocity at age 28 especially when he's been 92-93 in recent starts before his braves start. I've been saying the issue is fastball command this whole season and Joe maddon was quoted yesterday saying “To this point, Q’s just not been on top of his game with his command,” Maddon said. “Honestly, his delivery is good. He’s got a clean line to the plate. His ball spins well. I just think it’s a matter of trusting himself. That’s it. He’s going to pitch well. He has pitched well.

    “We didn’t help him with the defense. We caused him to throw more pitches and more stressful pitches. That’s part of the gig, too, and he got out of it [at times]. But the overall command isn’t as good as we normally see with him.”

    I think this quote sums his issues up perfectly and to me it's a fastball command issue mainly. He's always commanded that fastball to both sides of the plate up and down and I think that he's just not executing his fastball consistently. I believe he will correct this issue as he had the same problem last august before finding his command in sept. but it's frustrating that this has become a recurring issue.

  • Today, because of something J.D. said early in the broadcast it really hit me that Q's career didn't have him as good as a pitcher that I had always thought he was. It was his comparison to Teheran. I always thought of Teheran of a good 3 (maybe borderline 2), and never was interested in the Cubs acquiring him in the past, when rumors would somewhat occasionally surface. Now I just compared their career numbers, and even year by year, and see that to be very true. I've always thought of Q as a solid 2 when he was with the Sox. What's weird is to compare Q's first 5 and best years with the White Sox to what he's done in his time with the Cubs. The numbers are so alarmingly close, with exception to a half run higher of an ERA with the Cubs, that I have little hope that we see him improve much. Of course, I do feel like Q has been very unlucky in many of his appearances, but that won't account for that much of a return to what I thought we should expect from him. At least he's considered our 4. I just hope that something clicks for him in his remaining time in Chicago and we see him take a step forward and deliver what I (some of us) thought he's proven in the past that he's capable of delivering.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    One thing I want to add... Q wasn't that bad today. He was given a sh*t strike zone by the ump and battled through that commendably. I even checked the replay of the Brave's HRs. He hit his spot low and away against Albies on the lead off HR. Maybe just a bit too much of the plate, but he was pitching to the game plan; it was definitely wind aided. The Flowers HR he missed his spot with that meatball. That's the one he can't be giving up. The Bautista 3-run HR was actually a nice pitch inside off the plate, right where the target was. Bautista just got his quick hands in and out front and launched it. Legit HR. It really makes me question the pitching/game planning on the Cubs part. Are the ways they have him pitching to the strengths of who he is?

    For a comparison, KB's last out of the game was a similar pitch to the Bautista HR, a couple MPH faster, but still more of it on the corner of the plate, but he didn't get his hands in enough. He just needed a little more of the barrel on that one, hence knowing it was an out right off the bat.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    But that's baseball, isn't it. To be off by 1/4" means the difference between a pop out and a HR, or the difference between a SO and a foul ball. These guys are all so good that they are mostly so close in all things. Isn't a hit more a week the difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 one (it's something like that.)
    Right now the Q trade and Yu signing look bad. Let's wait until the end of the year and see then, or even next year.
    As for Verlander, I have to admit that I was watching the MLB channel last year as the clock was approaching midnight and I was really hoping the Cubs would trade for him. The guys there kept saying that he wanted to go to the Cubs, and then when Houston got him I was really deflated. If Houston didn't get him I doubt they would have won the WS, and if we did, I think we would have. I would trade a few more prospects for a WS win.

  • Montgomery could be the starter on Saturday Too.

  • Quintana hasn’t finished the fifth inning in three of his last six starts, giving up 45 hits and 21 walks through 41 1/3 innings so far this season. Quintana couldn't make it out of the fifth inning, surrendering 6 runs on 3 homers, 3 walks and 9 hits in 4.2 innings. That raised his season ERA to 5.23 and WHIP to 1.57.

    He's walking batters at a rate nearly double his career mark.The main issue Monday was actually how hard Quintana was getting hit when he did throw pitches in the zone. The Braves recorded 11 different batted balls of 95+ mph exit velocity off Quintana, including 8 balls hit 101.9 mph or higher.

    Y'all can keep making excuses for this guy.He's flat out bad.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Agree Bolla, Cub fans have been making excuses for Q ever since he got here. Good thing Eloy and Dylan are not playing in the MLB or this trade could really look lopsided.

    Every time he pulls off a quality start fans shout see this is why the FO traded for Q. Meanwhile Cardinals keep finding these hidden gems for bread crumbs just look at Miles Mikolas stats 46IP 3BB. That is the strike thrower Theo talked about all off-season.

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    You're preaching to the choir. Nothing but excuses for this underwhelming bum. I work with an annoying white sox fan,every week he laughs at what the cubs gave up for quintana and reminds me of what jimenez and cease are doing in the minors. There was a reason rick hahn seeked theo out for this trade. You give that package up for sale not jose quintana. Theo supposed to be the smart one but he got fleeced big time

  • In reply to bolla:

    I don't think most people here are saying that we won the Q trade I think most intelligent fans would undo the trade if they could but I disagree with the notion that because we gave up an elite prospect and we're not happy with the trade that that makes Q a bust already. I think in general he was a huge part of our sept. rally for the division last season and despite his rotten final start vs LA, he went outdueled max scherzer in a series vs wash that we wouldn't have won without him then went toe to toe with kershaw in game 1 vs LA before our bullpen blew the game. Lets keep in mind he pitched both of those LA starts on short rest too which is a practice I disagree with in general on Joe maddons part. So overall I think you can argue that while he wasn't flawless that he helped us last year although we did have high expectations for him because of his price.

    This year I admit he flat out hasn't looked good but it's very obviously a fastball command issue that I expect should be very fixable over time. I think it's a bunch of bs the fans like INSaluki who are saying that this years Q is the Q that we should expect moving forward in his entire cubs tenure. He's not perfect and he may never live quite up to the expectations that we had for him in trading an elite prospect like Eloy but I disagree with fans who expect him to continue to flat out suck. I think being frustrated with him and expecting better days out of him is perfectly fair but lets be realistic if we think that this guy just became a rotten pitcher. We're probably not going to win that trade at this point lets be honest but that doesn't mean that Q is going to be a bust overall and once again I strongly disagree with the notion that he's picking up where he left off last season. Even in a down year for him he still had a 3.9 ERA with the cubs after being traded so once again while he isn't pitching to our expectations, there's no reason not to think there are better days ahead when you look at his overall numbers and not just a months sample size.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Now personally, I wouldn't have made a trade to begin with because I didn't think we had a shot at winning the world series but that's just me. To the cubs credit they definitely advanced further than I expected but I didn't think it was the right year to sacrifice the long term for the short term With the Chapman deal I can understand because we had the best team in baseball clicking on all cylinders and we just needed an ace closer. I also don't believe that we would've won the WS without Chapman even though he had a few rough games. Sometimes as an organization you have to take advantage of the window you have to win but I don't think that was the case in 2017. It may have put us in a tough bind trying to find starting pitching but I'd rather wait for the right deal then overpay. I still think Q will help us and disagree with fans saying he sucks but I do acknowledge that he's not playing to my expectations and may never pitch to our high expectations overall although I think he'll at least be solid when it's all said and done.

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    yeah, the Cards find all this talent from nowhere to lead them to playoff success the last 3 years. so jealous

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    Agreed with your premise but Mikolas isn't a stud look at the FIP the guy doesn't miss bats. Still a nice find for Stl. but he's a 4-5 and the cubs were actually 2nd in the running for him but I'll make a bold prediction now saying Q outpitches him over the next 3 seasons.

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    Your opening statement is a red herring in the argument about Q's value and ability as a starter. Of course if Eloy were already in MLB the trade could look more lopsided. But this statement relies on a number of assumptions:
    -That Theo would have included Eloy Jiminez if were in AAA last year - personally, I doubt it. The reason he was included was because he was a couple years away from making the team. Which leads to the assumption that
    -The AA hitter will advance as rapidly to the MLB, and once in the MLB you have to assume that
    -He will be better than a #3 outfielder from the start.

    Another possible assumption is that if he were in the MLB right now and looked like Ian Happ with 50% K rate. Would you still hate the trade? Maybe Cease was in the MLB right now and pitching like Q. Then what would you think?

    These are of course rhetorical questions because like your statement, they are based on nothing but pure "what if?"

  • 2 and 3 years ago they were driving up opposition pitch counts close to 100 by the 5th inning for the SP’ers......now that is happening to us.......alot.

  • In the 2nd half of 2017, pitching for the Cubs, Jose Quintana ranked:
    WAR: 13th
    ERA: 30th
    FIP: 9th
    K/9: 12th
    BB/9: 16th
    So he was a top 20ish pitcher in baseball for the Cubs last year. This narrative that he has been awful since coming over is just lazy and whiny.
    Now, in 2018 he's been bad, and it's a tad concerning. His velocity is down. He's also throwing the fastball a lot more than usual, the curveball a lot less, and the change slightly less. I wonder if he hasn't had a feel for the curve which has been his bread and butter. Because of that he's relying on the fastball, which he's throwing slower, and it's getting hit.
    If his stuff comes back, he'll be the same old Q. But if his fastball stays 91 and he keeps staying away from his curve, the Cubs might have something to worry about.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Has he lived up to my high expectations of him? Not really especially so far this year but agreed 1000% this notion that he's been a bust is absolutely false and not supported by the stats even in his cubs tenure. We frankly don't beat the nationals without him and that's something that's talked about much less than his bad start against the dodgers on 3 days rest against a team that was up 3-1 against us and flat out better than us IN 2017 at least. He's off to a bad start but certain fans are taking it way out of proportion for what it means in the grand scheme of things. His ERA is quite frankly inflated by that 2 inning 9 run start vs ATL that was played in some of the worst conditions that I've seen a game played in and he didn't make an excuse about it but Joe flat out said that those were unpitchable conditions and that's why you saw the cubs have that huge comeback due to all those walks by the braves pitching staff. And we know yesterday's game the umps, defense, and wind did him no favors so that's 2 starts where he had quite a bit of bad luck. Take away those starts against a hot young braves team and his season looks much better even with his fastball command not looking as sharp.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Reading comment after comment about people complaining about the trade every single time his name is brought up has gotten so tired. Like the trade if you want, hate it if you want. But can we come up with something else to discuss during his starts?
    By the way, Bautista's HR was in on the hands, and hit at a 43 degree angle. It's a hit 16% of the time. Flowers' HR is a hit less than half the time. Quintana wasn't good yesterday sure, but he essentially generated outs which happened to get sucked into the jet stream.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Exactly I get it was a frustrating game and his command was off but those runs were cheap and that Bautista home run to me is a home run in no other park and usually isn't a home run on a typical warm weathered day much less a day when the winds blowing in at wrigley I still can't believe that ball carried out.

    I'm defending Q and I'm admittedly a guy that generally didn't support the trade and I think when we look at the trade in retrospect we're going to kick ourselves for trading eloy but that doesn't mean that Q is going to be a flat out bust. He wasn't a bust last year despite fans acting like he is today even though he wasn't great either and the numbers he's putting up thus far aren't in line with a single year that he's had in his career including that down 2017. He has a bit of a history of slow starts as well that I remember from his white sox days so I'm not particularly concerned about him turning things around I think it's a matter of when not if. I can't promise that he's going to live up to fans high expectation as he probably won't at this point but that doesn't mean he can't pitch like at least a 3 moving forward. In general I believe that players with his track record are going to perform closer to their career numbers then the outlier numbers that he's put up so far in 2018 in a very limited sample size with a lot of bad luck when you look at the context of both of his starts vs atl. where he got hit hard. It's also possible that this atl lineup is really good too and he has trouble with them as a team.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I agree with you on same topic every he pitches but stop making excuses for the guy. The same jet stream was there when Braves were pitching. It either the umps zone, bad framing or wind is blowing out. Some point just admit he isn’t throwing well.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Don't think me or Jim O. have complained about the strike zone even one time on cubs den and I've pointed out that he isn't throwing well on multiple occasions as I talked about how he's just not executing with his fastball. Nobody said he's throwing the ball well we're just saying that a lot of his charged runs and his overall high pitch count YESTERDAY were a result of the wind blowing out, a poor inconsistent biased ump strike zone that was supported by our observations of the computerized strike zone on tv (even len and JD bashed the strike zone and they're careful about doing so in general) and bad defense. He needs to pitch better but our point was that fans expressed a lot of frustration about Q's outing yesterday and we thought that the result of his outing could've looked a lot better then it did when you consider that both home runs wouldn't have been gone on any other day especially Bautistas 3 run home run. Bad defense and the home plate ump also forced him to throw way more high stress pitches too. I know from your previous comments that you don't like to hear bs excuses and I'm the same way I get irritated reading them but he had a lot of bad luck in yesterdays game I don't think there's any question about that.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I explicitly said, in 2 posts, that he hasn't thrown well. I'm not making excuses for him. He let the runners on base in front of Flowers and Bautista, and he allowed them to hit fly balls on a day when keeping the ball down was paramount. All I'm saying is those batted balls are generally not HR.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Exactly everyone agrees he's not throwing well what we disagree with is the assertion that he's already a bust because he's not throwing well or that we're making excuses because we're saying he's not a bust yet. What you call excuse making I call being a realistic fan because I understand that baseball is a roller coaster of ups and downs even for good players. I think the smartest decision makers in the game like Theo Epstein, Brian cashman, friedman, etc. think more in line with how we do rather than members of the fanbase who label players with all star track records as busts just because they didn't play their best over the past month. One thing I've learned watching this game is you can't make generalizations about a player over a good or bad month. Not everyones going to be jason heyward guys I know that's hard to believe.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    If you gave Theo the option to renege on the Q trade or Darvish signing, I think he'd laugh in your face.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I think there's maybe a chance he'd take back the Q trade just because of Q's struggles and eloys success I personally wouldn't have made the trade but I still understand why he did it and just because the white sox have to be very happy with what they got in the deal, that doesn't make Q a bust by default. As your fine analysis showed earlier, Q's numbers with the cubs were already pretty strong in 2017 although I don't think he pitched to his overall potential or expectations he still helped the team and you can argue that we don't advance past the nats without him. He's not pitching well so far this year but I also think bad luck with a few of those braves starts make his overall numbers look worse then they are. In addition, I think it's short sighted to make a generalization about a player after a bad April. Q's only been with us for a half season we still have 3 years left lets give him a real sample size to prove us wrong or right before some fans start labeling him a bust. As your analysis of his 2017 tenure with the cubs clearly shows, the claims that he's a bust is a huge exaggeration even given his slow start this year. That's not an excuse that's a numbers supported fact. Your 2017 analysis on his performance with the cubs makes me feel a lot better about Q moving forward because it shows what a blip on the radar his start to this season really is.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I'd also like to add too that even if Theo would take back the Q trades or Darvish signing, doesn't mean he's discouraged by them or anywhere near as low on them as certain members of our fanbase. His only regret maybe the high price paid to get them and what alternatives he could've acquired for a similar price.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Let’s just hope he finds it.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Dude, a key point of the comments here is to discuss pointless things. The Q trade, why Almora isn’t starting more, etc. We’re two months away from the trade deadline, and I’m pretty sure that win or lose tonight someone will comment that “we” need to trade for Monchado, a trade that has about a zero percent chance of happening. But it keeps people occupied until the next game, so it’s all good.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Kramerica20:

    As usual I agree with you (with the exception of who holds the patent on poor PAs yesterday). Quintana was good last year. He has struggled this year so far.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Oh yeah, wise guy? Well who do YOU think has the patent? Probably some typical, obvious answer like Baez. *eye roll to the back of my head*

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Kramerica20:

    Tom Burns, late 19th century Cub. 2B.

    JK, I just looked up an old name.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Please. Ol "2-legs" Burns wasn't even in the top 30 all time patents for sometimes having a terrible approach.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Kramerica20:

    Ol' "2-legs" was probably the worst hitting middle-infielder the Cubs ever had. You forget his other nickname: "Red-eye" burns because it made his teammates eyes hurt to watch him take strikes and swing at balls. He was the worst middle infielder for the Cubs since Addison Russell.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Quintana wasn't that good last year. He was good 2013 - 2016

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Presuming Kramerica's numbers are correct, and I trust that they are, I consider that to be the numbers of a good pitcher. Maybe I should have specified that I was referring to Kramerica's assertion and the numbers he used were for the 2nd half so, basically, his time with the Cubs.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I looked at his entire year

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    He had a 3.8-3.9 ERA I believe with the cubs, a 3.68 FIP, and was worth 3.9 WAR even in a down 2017 in my opinion based off his previous years with the white sox. He then outdueled max scherzer in a pivotal game 3 tied 1-1, went toe to toe with kershaw on short rest before our bullpen blew the game, then got his ass kicked the final game of the year vs kershaw although we were down 3-1 and clearly inferior to the dodgers at least in 2017. Nobody ever said he was great and he's pitching to our high expectations but that's a pretty solid "Off year". This whole Q sucks movement that's occurring amongst the cubs fanbase is overblown and not statistically supported when you break down the numbers over larger sample sizes and don't just generalize off a bad 1st month. If he was this bad during his entire cubs tenure, then I'd understand but some people are acting like we should expect this years production moving forward and they have absolutely nothing to support that side of the argument. He needs to pitch better but he still has plenty of time and I can care less about a bad 1st month if he pitches better moving forward and especially in big playoff outings.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to kkhiavi:

    To me there are 2 distinct arguments against Quintana. Some people use both, but many use only 1.

    1. Quintana is not a TOR starter. As I have said before this depends on your definition of TOR starter. For some people there are only 5 or so "TOR starters" in the league and Quintana's. For others they have expected contributions from a "TOR starter" and Quintana isn't matching those.

    2. Quintana is a talented pitcher, a swell guy and a good citizen. But he was NOT worth Jiminez and Cease (or even just Jiminez). The reasoning seems to be that this is the kind of price you pay for a Sale, not a Quintana.

    Personally I believe Quintana is a good pitcher who is having a horrible season (so far). But I can't disregard all the commentary about his struggles. As I've said before, as long as people keep it civil many of the best posts on here have been when people strongly disagree.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Agreed on all counts and a reason why I wasn't excited about the trade to begin with is that I don't see Q as a 1-2 but more of a 2-3 at best so while I think he's a good to really good pitcher I don't see him as great. I have some concerns about the trade in general and whether we're ever going to feel good about the trade but I do feel confident in saying that Q should have much better days ahead in his cubs tenure then he's had thus far this season. For me either way it's more important that he steps up down the stretch and in the playoffs. I can live with a bad month and as someone that's followed the white sox I haven't broken this down statistically but I've seen him get off to at least 3 bad starts to the season only to turn it around during the summer. I fully expect that to happen this season although my guess is cubs fans will continue to scrutinize him until he 1. shows the ability to win for an extended period of time and 2. shows that he can be relied on in big playoff games which he has proven to some degree but I think everyone remembers that last game vs the dodgers.

  • Sorry. Until quintana pitches better I'm not gonna stop complaining. I NEVER liked the trade.The day it was made I said it was a huge overpay for an overrated pitcher.Y'all need to realize people are entitled to opinions. It's more frustration than anything, if quintana improves and resembles the pitcher he was then I'll be quiet but he wasn't really pitching that good before the cubs acquired him.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Think that's a fair point and I think we're all frustrated with his start to the season and he may not live up to his expectations over his cubs tenure I'm not saying that there's not a level of concern. I'm just making the point that it's too early to categorize him as a bust and that he has 3 years of 3.5 remaining. A lot of us that have been on cubs den for multiple years had to listen to certain fans crying about jon lester during his 1st year with the team and they've all but shut up now. I'm just saying that in the game of baseball, guys have struggles and a lot of times fans tend to make false generalizations about those struggles especially when it comes to premium acquisitions like a lester, Q, or darvish. Now it's possible that he never lives up to our expectations but I just think some of the dislike for him is overblown. He's not been good this year but I disagree with the notion that he's picking up where he left off last year he had a better overall cubs tenure in 2017 then he's given credit for and in general I think the level of disappointment that fans have in him is just exaggerated because our expectations of him were similar to a Jon Lester in addition to the high price we paid to get him. And that's coming from a guy who didn't support the trade not because I think Q is bad but because I think Eloy is special and I'd rather use him in a package for a better overall player.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    3 more years?!? Oh GOD.

    I remember lesters early struggles and up n down 2015 season. There was a game vs the tigers in mid season where lester got lit up. That's why I'm being patient with darvish, new team,new city,new coaches/teammates. Outside 3-4 bad 5th innings innings darvish hasn't been terrible it's just the dreaded 5th inning where it snowballs.It's the contract, shiny free agent and high expectations along with arrieta pitching good for the phillies that magnify darvish's struggles. I'm not concerned I think he'll be fine eventually

  • In reply to bolla:

    Exactly and I'm not going to sit here and say that I have zero concern there has to be a level of concern when your 2 premium SP pickups are struggling I just don't think it's time to panic which is an easy thing to do after a frustrating game. As long as Q pitches better moving forward and in the postseason assuming we even get there then nobody's gonna care about a poor april. I follow the white sox close enough to tell you also that Q has had some pretty poor starts to the season in the past including last season from April-May and he's always turned it around in those years where he got off to bad starts. My thing is I can do without these bad starts but I can live with him as long as he gets it together for the remainder of the season going into the playoffs.

    I also think Darvish will be fine I have a theory that the team gave him his last start off because they wanted to get some individual work with him with the coaches and other members of the organization. The stuff is still there and it's hard to not see a guy with his elite stuff continuing to get lit up. I'm hoping getting his 1st official win with the cubs whenever that maybe will get him on a roll can you believe he doesn't have a win yet?? For me I take stats with a grain of salt when it comes to the 1st couple of months for a premium free agent signing as those early struggles seem quite common for new players acclimating to big market teams as shown by jon lester or giancarlo stanton with the yankees his 1st few weeks in NY

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    *hard to see

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I seriously hope you're right about quintana. Just for the sake of my annoying co worker not throwing this in my face everyday. I never was high on him personally, I was hoping the brewers or braves acquired him but what's done is done.I genuinely hope he improves because it makes the cubs significantly better. I agree about darvish now if he's struggling in mid late july then I'll be officially worried. He's taken a couple no hitters into the 4th-5th innings,retired 18 out of 21 brewers. Just has to put together a great start from 1st to last pitch

  • In reply to bolla:

    i can't confidently say that we'll ever be happy with the trade as I'm on record saying that it's not looking like we're going to clearly win the trade at this point although there's still plenty of time. I just think at the very worst even if Eloy becomes a hall of famer that we're going to see better days ahead for Q even if he doesn't pitch like a 1-2 in his cubs tenure that we were hoping he'd develop into on an elite team. But that said he has way too many starts ahead of him for me to completely bash him after a poor start. I've seen a lot of sox baseball when Q and sale were leading their rotation and I've seen Q get off to at least 3 terrible starts to the season in his sox tenure before turning it around in the summer so he has a bit of a history of inconsistent starts to the season. I just hope we see the player that I saw with the white sox for many years that was a hands down 2-3 rather than the Q I saw last season that looked like more like a 3-4. I don't think in any event that he'll anywhere near as bad over his cubs tenure as he has been thus far in the 2018 season over a limited sample size.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I'm gonna stop being so critical of quintana and relax and hope he turns it around. I'll give him and what you're saying the benefit of the doubt.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion about Quintana. You are welcome to express that opinion. You are also not the only or the first person that didn't like the trade. Even guys that think Quintana is a good pitcher didn't like giving up Jiminez and Cease to get him. In fact I thought your post earlier about Quintana's BB rate was insightful.

    If you want people to respect your opinion please return the favor and respect theirs. There are people that can look at the same pitcher and come to different conclusions. If we can keep the debate/discussion civil it can be really fun.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    No problem I'll do my part from now on.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Was he an over rated pitcher or just a pitcher having a bit of a down year in 2017? Was he good the previous four seasons?

  • Does anyone want to redo the Q trade and substitute Chris Archer? If so, we’d be seeing the same comments or worse on Archer. The idea of the Q trade was to get an established pitcher with at least three years of control. Q met those criteria but unfortunately for the Cubs the first 45 days of 2018 has not been the best of Q. A year ago there were some analysts on TV who thought he’d be a Cy Young candidate. Since there are no obvious options this year , let’s wait on the Q crucification.

  • In reply to stix:

    One thing never mentioned here about the Quintana trade was his contract, extremely team friendly.

  • Off topic but robinson cano suspended 80 games for doping smh!!!

    Talk about Add insult to injury...literally

  • In reply to bolla:

    He used a banned diuretic. I thought diuretics were for excess liquids in the system used for blood pressure control as well as other medical issues. Took it in the Dominican without checking with MLB to see if it was a banned substance. Bad on him, especially if another drug could have been for his problem. Or maybe it’s a masking agent.

  • In reply to stix:

    masking agent is stringer possibility

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I take furosemide for CHF so it perked my ears up. Apparently diuretics are not banned substance but immediately flag the office of the independent administrator who determined it was used to mask a PED. The MLB testing concurred. It wouldn’t make sense if it was just the furosemide

  • stronger

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    That seems to be the case, from what I've read. Diuretics are banned because they can be used as a masking agent, but players aren't suspended because of them. When they show up on a test, the player is re-tested. Then an independent source makes the determination of whether or not they were used to mask PED's.That seems to be what happened here.

    The tests in question actually happened last offseason, and the news seems like it's just now breaking because Cano dropped his appeal.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I don't see him dropping the appeal if it was just a diuretic

Leave a comment