Streak: W W
LAD 2 – CHC 7
The Cubs sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning, scored four runs with two outs, and staked Jose Quintana to a 4-0 lead. Willson Contreras doubled to score three and Daniel Descalso added an RBI double. Anthony Rizzo went oppo taco in the second and the Cubs chased Kenta Maeda after four. Javy Baez reached base three times, including an imaginative juke move at first base, and hit a solo home run in the 7th. Quintana used an array of pitches to keep a dangerous Dodgers lineup off balance to earn his third straight win. The Cubs have won 6 of 7 and are above .500 for the first time since winning on Opening Day.
Báez: 2-3, 2 R, RBI, BB
Contreras: 1-3, R, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K
Rizzo: 1-4, HR (4), 2 RBI
Quintana: 7.0 IP — 2 R, 4 H — 2 BB, 7 K
Bullpen: 2.0 IP — 0 R, 3 H — 0 BB, 4 K
When the Cubs parted with Eloy Jimenez this is the Jose Quintana they were expecting in return.
I love that Q lasted 114 pitches, and I love that Maddon stayed with him. If a guy’s dealing, let him pitch.
The Bellinger comebacker was a heart stopper.
Cubs pitching staff in the last 10 games: (7-2, 1.39 ERA).
So much of it is innate. Some guys have it (Baez) some don’t (Starlin Castro). What other player pulls off the deke move at first the way Javy did? Báez brings it all : defense, speed, power, IQ … A special player.
His three-run double in the first was a huge difference-maker. It came on a 0-2 pitch … that he didn’t hit it that hard … but was able to keep it fair down the third base line. It’s an example of why making contact is so important, albeit underrated at times in today’s game. Schwarber, hitting ahead of Contreras, struck out with the bases juiced … the home run swing wasn’t necessary … making contact was.
When hitters slump we love to see them hit the ball the other way, which the slumping Rizzo (.200 avg.) did Tuesday with his HR to left field. We’ll take that as a positive. Rizzo’s nearing 100 plate appearances: 14 walks, 15 hits, and 16 strikeouts. The walks are nice, but hits would be better.
CUBS WALK LEADERS
14 – Heyward
14 – Rizzo
12 – Contreras
11 – Bryant
09 – Zobrist
NEXT – Wed. vs. LAD, 7:05 p.m. CT
Walker Buehler (2-0, 5.40 ERA)
Cole Hamels (3-0, 2.77)