Q-tastic--Cubs 7 Cardinals 2

Jose Quintana pitched like a Ferrari today. The Cubs needed the veteran southpaw to provide length and he gutted his way through 7 innings. It took over 120 pitches to get through that amount and early on it felt like another outing where he did just enough to lose. Instead, the lefty provided needed innings following a double header and Lester spitting the bit for the first time this year.

The Cardinals struck early against the Colombian lefty. Matt Carpenter singled because it is illegal for a Cubs pitcher to retire Carpenter. Yadier Molina hit a ground rule double for the Cardinals to threaten two batters into the game. Paul DeJong hit a sacrifice fly to center fielder Ian Happ, whom caught it. Quintana induced an infield groundball out to keep Molina at second and Jose Martinez watched strike three to end the inning. Miles Mikolas surrendered a pair of singles through the first three innings, but the Cubs bats were largely kept at bay in the first third.

Quintana pitched out of trouble of his own creation in the second inning, but managed to avoid giving up any more runs. Q headed into the fourth inning still down one run. He walked Dexter Fowler with one out, and that proved costly as he grooved a second 3-2 fastball over the plate to Yairo Muñoz. He ripped it into the left field corner for a run scoring double. Q recovered to retire Mikolas and Carpenter to end the fourth inning.

The Cubs broke through against Mikolas in the bottom half of the fourth. Mikolas walked Jason Heyward to start the inning. Báez hit a groundball to move Heyward to second. Ian Happ roped a double into right field to cut the Cardinals lead down to just one. Kyle Schwarber was called out on strikes but Willson Contreras smacked a groundball single into left to tie the game. Russell grounded out, but the score stood level 2-2 after four innings.

Quintana pitched through the seventh inning, and kept the Cardinals at just two runs. The biggest challenge he faced was in the sixth inning. Dexter Fowler hit a two out double. Muñoz was intentionally walked and that forced manager Mike Shildt to pinch hit for Mikolas. Jedd Gyorko grounded out to end the inning proving why he is an all-time best seller down at the store.

Mike Mayers was the first Cardinals reliever. He retired the first two Cubs with relative ease, but Kyle Schwarber hit a flyball just into the right center stands for the Cubs first lead of the afternoon. Mayers pitched the seventh inning as well, and it started poorly for him with a walk to Addison Russell. Tommy La Stella pinch hit for Q and lined out for the first out. Rizzo was hit by a pitch to move Russell to second. Kris Bryant singled to score an insurance run.

Jesse Chavez pitched his third shutout inning in a Cubs uniform in the top of the eighth inning. Chavez faced the minimum and struck out two in his frame. Brett Cecil was the next Cardinals pitcher. He walked Ian Happ and struck out Kyle Schwarber to starter the inning. Happ stole second and scored on Willson Conteras' second run scoring single. Russell hit a groundball to the Gyork store, but an error moved the pair into scoring position. Albert Almora Jr. pinch hit for Jesse Chavez and he singled to extend the Cubs lead to 6-2. Rizzo singled to give the Cubs their 7-2 lead. The Cardinals went to John Brebbia but the damage had been done.

The GOAT Randy Rosario pitched around a pair of one out singles to preserve their five run lead. The Cubs win moves them to 3.5 games ahead in the division, and the Cardinals are running out of season fast.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

Random Reference
I am a Q fan and this recent run has been one of the biggest positives in the month of July. We've been waiting for this for a while, but it does seem like the Cubs are finally seeing the guy that was worth the king's ransom last year. He was one of the most consistently good pitchers in baseball for years and in his late 20s should have some more solid years left in that arm.

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Chavez has done well (sss, obviously), but seems like the cubs could have traded for familia. Unless the Mets REALLY valued the 1m in international money

  • In reply to 2Toes:

    Listening to Jim Duquette this morning on MLB Radio the Mets were very haphazard in dealing Familia. Teams that were solidly interested never got callbacks some of them saying they would have offered more than Beane and company did. Many of the execs were said to be angry about it. The whole thing sounds very strange.

  • I believe in Q 2. Have for one second regretted that trade.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Q has 16 wins since the trade but I actually thought he would be better. 16 wins per yr is a good return especially given the trade mkt for 16 win pitchers.

    I think we gave up too much to get him but that presumes that the cubs don’t continue to win. Eloy and any other minor league pitcher than Cease would have been fine by me. Eloy can turn into another Soler and be injury prone or could be a super star but I think giving up him and Cease was too much.

  • That was a fun game. Watched the game with Cards announcers. What a treat.
    Chavez has been solid. Hope he can be that lights out guy.
    I would like to see Schwarbs get a day off.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Seems to me that Schwarbs continues to receive excessive erroneous strike calls. Maybe with his new body, the umps are confused with that inside strike. Since it's farther away from his body, it must be over the plate???

  • In reply to wthomson:

    Is it just me or has Schwarbs gained back some of the weight?

  • In reply to stv711:

    Being someone who has been eternally challenged with weight thru out one's life despite calorie burn, this or that fad, Schwarber's buttons are pulling. Players do gain or lose weight during a season because there is no daily pattern, no matter what is consumed or worked out.

  • In reply to stv711:

    Definitely noticed the same thing.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Chavez really pounds the bottom of the strike zone. Picked him up just in time.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I will admit that initially I was leery of this guy... Gopher balls have been trending the wrong way w/him the past few seasons. But he’s pitched well for the Cubs thus far.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Small sample size - look at his career numbers

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    What’s a “small sample size”?? 3 seasons or his time with the Cubs?

    He’s 34..., I’m not looking at what did when he was 24.... and I said, “ he’s pitched well for the Cubs thus far.”

  • fb_avatar

    I feel like I have Stockholm Syndrome. The opposition must score first for me to believe we'll win.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Dude, any one of us who has been a die-hard Cubs fan for the last several decades is a strong candidate for being diagnosed with Stockholm Syndrome.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    True.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yes you may.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I'm glad the Cubs are better prepared than I am, cause I suck:

    Thank you. May I have another?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yes you may.

  • Q pitched like a professional, and it was enjoyable, the Cubs offense once going scored efficiently. More important, Cubs up 5 in the loss column to Milwaukee, and 9 to both Pitt & StL with 64 remaining. Just to compare Cubs are 42-25 since way back in May when the lost 2 heart breakers to the Cards, coincidentally 67 games ago or a.620 winning %, a pace that puts Cubs winning 98 games.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    I respect your opinion, rnemanich, so I'm asking a question. What do you think we do in 2018?

    I've laid out my guess of Britton and Eovaldi. That's a safe bet.But this FO often goes bold.

    What we need is a SP capable of starting a playoff game. I'm not confident Lester continues his smoke and mirror show, and I have no confidence in Darvish. Call me crazy, but we will go after a big FA or two after this season. We will need a couple roster spots. Do we create those spots now? The postseason roster is far different than the one that carries you through 162 games.

    I really think we only go big on a SP if we have doubts about Darvish, but I'll go on record again as saying I have doubts about Darvish. Serious doubts about Darvish.

    I'll end with this: we do not punt any competitive season. The NL is ours to take. Our FO is even more competitive than we are. Do not be surprised by anything we do.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Not sure, but it appears you have some doubts about Darvish...

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I know my comments have left some doubt, so I'll try to clarify: I have no confidence that Yu Darvish will help the Chicago Cubs win the World Series in 2018. I think we need to plan accordingly.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    :o) Eovaldi would be a good acquisition.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I'm with you (not Yu) 100% I don't know what the problem is, but I'm tired of waiting for Darvish to be the pitcher his agent claimed he was while negotiating for all the money. I fear that he needs surgery and is only delaying the inevitable...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    No evidence of needing surgery - the usual Cub fan fearing the worst

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I'm not "fearing," I'm questioning the lack of information, treatment plan and timetable of return for the Cubs' $25 million (in 2018) super-starter (who didn't pitch well before he left.) You're welcome to add any actual information or informed opinion you might have, without the "usual Cub fan" B.S.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I know that this doesn’t sound like my usual starting pitching starved self, but Darvish has to be able to pitch effectively in the playoffs if we’re getting to the WS. There aren’t any answers out there to mitigate that. Eovaldi would be a decent get, Drew Smyly is on his way to a rehab assignment and could be up by mid-August but those are not playoff pitchers. deGrom is unfortunately a pipe dream, proper value for him is the Sale deal, and there’s really no one they can acquire that can pitch game 3 of a playoff series. It’s Darvish or bust, unless...they go super bullpen and try to get away with a lesser starter at 3 or 4. Everything now is about the playoffs. They need nothing to get there as I think they’ll easily win the 95 games I predicted from the outset, I actually think now they’ll win 97 or 98. If they’re going to win a World Series it’s going to be creatively.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Milk Stout:

    Don't read between the lines too much with BP. He is very subtle. But even knowing that I am not sure how you think he might have doubts about Darvish. LOL

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I was being funny.., or at least I thought I was being funny. It was quite obvious he had doubts as he mentioned it 3 times. My attempt was lame... my bad. I’ve moved on.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I read your comment as funny, so I doubled (quadrupled?) down on my stance. Sometimes humor doesn't come through in written words.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Milk Stout:

    Not as lame as mine apparently. I tried to play along.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    It is not a question that is left in a vacuum and the Cubs have spent much in the last two years, Chapman got us to the promised land for a future All Star, worth it. Then the traded for Quintana and got 16-9 over the span for what could be a core player for years. So now they face a decision. I think a real decision possibly trading MLB roster players who are making a difference for more difference.

    Britton is now being over sold because Houston needs him more and they have a tougher road to the WS. But there are possibly other less costly difference makers. As for starters I think the Cubs are now betting on Smyly and Darvish getting well in August and why the Cubs keep saying depth. Why depth.

    Because they are looking at the playoffs as being a context of relievers, what Epstein says is finding value on the margins so building a huge bullpen with pitchers who can go 2 innings, (Monty, Chavez, and possibly one more) could be the answer.

    I have now come to the conclusion that trading Russell, Happ or Almora and Caratini is a mistake and their AAA/AA prospects are not there, so that is the current thought.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    I don't think the Cubs are betting on Darvish or Smyly. I think just the opposite that they are not counting on those two.

    I see no problem trading a current mlb position player if it improves your chances this year and following years.

  • fb_avatar

    I guessed before (and I'm not rnemanich) but I'd offer Montgomery, Happ and Jose Albertos for deGrom. I don't want to strip our team to the point of being too weak to compete because we still need to win this year.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Let me start off by saying this won't happen. But here's why it might:

    The Cubs FO goes aggressively towards any generational talent. That should not be in doubt.

    We lack starting pitching. There is no question about that. On the other hand, we have tremendous positional depth. We are capable of adding more offensive star-power through free-agency. When you have a strength, and can make it stronger with only money, why not leverage that to address a weakness?

    We have a window through at least 2021. I don't see any TOR arms coming up through our system by then. We need to acquire them somehow. We have been spoiled with starting-caliber players on the bench, but we have holes. It's just the old saying: deal from areas of strength to address areas of weakness.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Idk Barley, so much of our success can be attributed to depth. I'm not sure that I see sacrificing it for a pitcher. The guys that I hear mentioned like Happ, Russell and Caratini cannot be replaced. Caratini fills in for Riz and Willson and the Cubs don't miss a beat. Happ is switch hitter with power and speed and Russell is a top major league shortstop. I think the Cubs will opt for a kick ass bullpen.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I'd even add in caratini to close the deal but I think they ask for Russell, Almora or schwarber as an extra piece

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    The Mets aren't going to want any of those guys for deGrom. The comp for the deal is the Sale trade which was for the Red Sox first and third prospects both in the top fifty and Moncada was #1 in all of baseball and that wasn't the entire package. If you're the Mets and you want to rebuild on the backs of your best pitchers you need prospects over whom you will have full control. To the best of my knowledge the only farm systems that seem to have the pieces to trade for deGrom would be the Yankees, Braves and Dodgers. The last think the Wilpons want is for deGrom to be on the back page of the Daily News in a Yankees jersey so that's not happening, the Dodgers have blown their wad for this year and don't even have room under the CBT for him and the Braves don't seem interested. He's not going anywhere now, but the offseason could be interesting.

  • In reply to TC154:

    That's my overall opinion too TC the mets are going to want multiple high floor high upside talents and happ is really the only fairly high upside guy that we could offer unless we want to trade 2 guys from our core which most of us don't want. If I'm theo Id at least try to build a deep 4-5 player depth based package deep of good but not elite prospects like maybe happ, caratini, Montgomery, alzolay and maybe reluctantly Miguel Amaya (who I think is our #1 prospect) or another pitcher. Other teams maybe able to offer better higher ranked prospects and that's why we'd need to attempt sell the mets on a deeper package with a bit less overall upside but that still comprises of a lot of really nice young pieces and a starter in Montgomery. I think that's a pretty strong offer but the mets may very well still decline and it would deplete our farm system. One note though Degrom is 30 years old with only 2.5 years of control so I'd say a younger Chris sale was worth more in a trade but I get what you're saying the price for cy young caliber talent is going to be extremely pricey and I doubt we have the farm system depth to pull off a deal at this timing. Another note Miguel Amaya is much higher regarded by the industry than the prospect rankings a lot of scouts see him as a potential top 20-50 type of prospect as he moves up the system. He's a guy that the athletic reports the Cubs really don't want to move as they believe they maybe selling low on his upside by trading him right now I don't think cub fans realize how good he is.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    On the Sale trade, he had 1/2 a year more control and was 1 year younger. Sale brought back the #1 prospect in the game and I think Kopech was in the #30 range somewhere. deGrom isn't going to get the #1 prospect but a guy like Braves RHP Kyle Wright at #25 would get the conversation started as would Walker Buehler or Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers. Even if the Cubs dealt from their roster why would the Mets want those guys if they aren't going to compete for 4-5 years?

  • In reply to TC154:

    I guess for me I feel like that's more of an issue with say Addison Russell rather than guys like happ/caratini that come with 6+ years of control and to me happ has already shown high Obp and power and if you asked me whose more likely to have a successful career between happ and any of those prospects I'd take happ to me you're getting a higher floor player who may not fit your timeline quite as well as those guys but he still comes with plenty of cost control. I still agree with your premise that they're going to hold onto Degrom unless they get an elite type of prospect and I don't think that we're trading the overall ranked type of prospects that teams want. I also agree that your point is an issue with mike Montgomery ESP he probably doesn't have that much value to the mets. I think there's a better than likely chance that you're right but don't sleep on happ and Amaya I think Amaya's a potential impact guy and happ is a pretty darn good young player in his own right that still comes with a lot of cost control. Buehler and verdugo maybe the flavors of the month but I wouldn't take either of them individually over happ right now

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think if the Dodgers wanted deGrom they could get him. They could offer a package of very good prospects and add Logan Forsythe to offset the deGrom salary abd still remain under the CBT..

  • In reply to TC154:

    Its my understanding the mets want controlled major league talent and prospects that are knocking on the door. They need help all over but in the bullpen, c, 3b, ss and the of.

    So i see Montgomery, Russell or Happ, Caratini and then 3 prospects. Amaya Hatch or Lange then Vosler or Zagunis or other AAA pitchers as a viable option for the Mets.

    Degrom helps you win the world series. When you can have Degrom and Lester start 5 of 7 in a series you have a great chance to win it.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I don't think the Mets have the slightest idea what they want which is why I don't think he gets traded until a new GM is in place or, less likely, Alderson is back in place. With some of their contracts vs tradeable assets they could absolutely go into a full, deep, rebuild or they could hover around the margins and be bad. If you want to go that way you don't trade deGrom or Syndergaard.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Exactly with their current organizational stability and the lack of a market for Degrom I don't see why they wouldn't just hold onto him for now. I say let's offer my proposed package just in case but I think they need to really assess which direction they want to go in

  • In reply to TC154:

    mets would be smarter to wait until the off season anyway. More likely to get more competition for his services. Cant see them parting with both DeGrom and Thor, tho. One of them they will keep.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I don't think that is enough

  • fb_avatar

    Keep winning series.

  • In reply to Ray:

    I hear that. We just beat our hated rival 3 games to 2. We won a game today. A good excuse for some feel-good lyrics, if you ask me:

    "When I woke up, Mom and Dad were rolling on the couch.
    Rolling numbers, rock and rollin',
    Got my Kiss records out."

    Go Cubs!

  • This is the front office that traded Nomar midseason. So they aren't afraid to make the big move. I know it won't happen, but wonder if there is a 3-way deal that they would swing with the Mets to land both deGrom and Syndergaard.

    Would you pull the trigger on something like: Hendricks, Montgomery, Happ, and our top 3 prospects for deGrom and Syndergaard?

  • In reply to jimbullinger:

    Probably would have to add Russell as well

  • In reply to jimbullinger:

    Thor AND deGrom? We're not getting either one of those two, but both would cost Baez, Contreras, Almora, Schwarber, Alzolay, Amaya, and then some. Not going to happen, for many reasons.

  • Indeed, swinging for one of Thor or DeGrom would come with a starting price of Happ and Russell, plus top prospects.

    If you start talking both you are talking about sending Bryant off. As Barley said, it will not happen for many reasons.

    The question to me is would you do Russell, Happ, and 2-3 of our top 5 for DeGrom. We have the depth to do it and it would improve our chances this year greatly. But this team has used its position player depth as a major edge. Most of that edge would go away.

  • In reply to bleedblue:

    I agree it's not happening, but I guess the thought that hit me, was one that I can see them doing something bold, and two, nobody talks about moving a pitcher other than Montgomery. What would Q and Hendricks bring in a deal? And would that be enough to only part with Happ and Russell? What if you add someone like Edwards too?

  • In reply to bleedblue:

    No. A lot of you undervalue the everyday SS position, let alone MLB star caliber cost controlled one. There’s no way the Cubs send a package of Russell w/a most everyday MLB good all around position player/hitter plus 2-3 more of our top 5 prospects for an every 5th day pitcher. That’s insane. Russell &1, maybe... but I don’t think they even do that w/out another SS acquisition plan at the ready.

  • Taking the seven October W's it would require to get to the Series, Verlander, Severino, Sale, or Kluber would all be prohibitive favorites at home in game 1 over any Cub pitcher, including 0.00 ERA Ian Happ. There isn't a TOR asset for rent. Other than Wilson, the entire roster is controllable for 2019 and Smyly (or an Iowa guy) fills that slot, so upgrade means trading core and/or eating contracts (Duensing, etc.) The only thing that makes sense is a MOR that can eat some innings so that Monty isn't over-exposed or Chatwood sits, (slightly better version of Haren) or another multi-inning bullpen clone of Chavez, either of which costs guys only Michael has heard of. Off-season, the blockbuster trade is another story. This season we dance with them that brung us.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    Agree completely.....just don’t see anybody out there that makes things a game changer other than deGrom and that looks unlikely. Doesn’t mean we are screwed just means available help doesn’t really help. We may be able to outslug most but then again.....those 3 big AL teams would do the same to our staff.
    The status quo will still change between now and October, no one knows how it will shake out.....does Kershaw stay healthy, do the Nationals stay dormant, do we suffer a major injury, is it possible Bumgarner comes into play?
    A lot of baseball still left.....

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    leys not forget whos available in FA this year. Harper, Machado, maybe Kershaw if he opts out in LA. Andrew Miller and Cody Allen of the Indians are also FAs after the season. A good under-the radar name might be Michael Brantley, quielty having an all star season in Cleveland. Degrom Thor probably names like Kevin Gausmann and Dylan Bundy with the Os are probably going to be on the market.

  • That alzolay season ending injury hurts so much right now.

  • I think what hurts in 2018 is the fact that the front office spent top dollar to get a key rotation contributor and he's been AWOL since the start of the year.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    Injuries happen. I still believe in Darvish but he hasn't been healthy. I think the culture often gets in the way of some of these Japanese pitchers being honest about their health. Getting paid and then not producing is considered a dishonor to their culture. I think some of the "I think the fanbase hates me" stuff came filtered through an American perspective in Giminez. Injuries happen, I'm not blaming a player for that. I just want him back healthy and I'm convinced he'll perform.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I'm interested in why you think so. I'm not disagreeing but I am mystified by this whole process. Darvish is "injured," and is "resting" and even getting a cortisone shot, but there's no progress reported and no timetable for a return. Theo was pretty clear that the FO is not depending on his return. It makes me wonder if there's some disagreement over treatment, with the Cubs recommending something (surgery?) that Darvish and his handlers don't want to do.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I don't pretend to know what's going on. It could very well be a disagreement on treatment. Shohei Ohtani is in a similar position trying to avoid TJ surgery and Masahiro Tanaka very famously kept pitching to avoid the surgery and has had a very inconsistent career because of it. Darvish, on the other had, did have TJ and came back and this is something else. Maybe he so wants to pitch to prove himself that he's ignoring advice to be shut down for the season. I don't know. Despite Theo's frank comments he also said that Yu had his “best day in a long time.” playing catch at the ballpark on Saturday. They can't count on him because so far when they have it's been a failure so they have to look at other solutions. I don't see a starter solution that helps in the playoffs so maybe they make up a "super bullpen" or rely on Smyly (who is rehabbing quite well) to be that long man to help with that fact that the team only three starters you'd trust in a playoff game. I don't know.

    Getting back to Darvish specifically though I think culture may play a part. I certainly don't think the guy wants to be injured while his team is trying to win a World Series. Knowing a little bit about that culture I'm pretty sure he's sick about it.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I don't think the Cubs have an option outside of sticking with him and hoping for the best. Hopefully, Darvish can contribute to the playoff run. Thanks for your comment.

  • I hope when the time comes that Theo remembers the one who did the most damage to everyone involved (other than himself) was Boras....

Leave a comment