After a satisfying 7-2 win to open the series, the Cubs kept the momentum going and won 4-0 behind a dominant performance by starter José Quintana. The Cubs offense and bullpen didn’t let Quintana’s efforts go to waste, doing what they had to do to walk away with a win and a chance to sweep the series tomorrow. (Box score)
Why the Cubs won
Quintana was dominant tonight and the Marlins hardly threatened while he was on the mound. While the quality of competition was far from elite, Quintana managed to completely shut the door on Starlin Castro and the rest of Miami’s roster. Following a spectacular outing against Pittsburgh last week, this might be Quintana’s best two start stretch as a Cub and it’s a very nice rebound from his disastrous start in Milwaukee earlier this month.
In what ended up being sort of a ho-hum win defined by a dominant starting pitching performance, the standout moment might have been Albert Almora Jr. making a spectacular diving catch to stop what might’ve been a Marlins rally in its tracks. Almora has struggled mightily at the plate this year but has made big plays in centerfield two nights in a row in Miami.
— Cachorros de Chicago (@cachorros) April 17, 2019
There was also a scary moment in the 8th where the Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro came within feet of tying the game off of Cubs reliever Brandon Kintzler, but there’s no need to relive that trauma. All’s well that ends well, right?
Stats that matter
- Quintana had his second consecutive excellent start, pitching seven-plus magnificent innings before being pulled after giving up a single to lead off the 8th. He struck out seven and walked none on just 91 pitches. Quintana has 18 strikeouts and just one walk over his last two starts.
- Daniel Descalso continues to impress in the early part of his Cubs career. Descalso went 2-for-3 with a double, a pair of walks, and an RBI.
- David Bote also had a nice game, going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI of his own.
- Despite the win, the Cubs made some gaffes on the basepaths tonight. Descalso and Javy Báez were each thrown out trying to stretch for an extra base and Bote was picked off of first base. Báez more than made up for the out on the bases by hitting his fifth home run of the year to further ice the win.
The Cubs did what they needed to do to get the win against a bad Marlins team. Quintana was absolutely outstanding and both the bullpen and lineup did their jobs tonight. The Cubs should beat teams like the Marlins, but that’s no reason not to be happy when they actually do.
The Cubs will wrap up this abbreviated road trip tomorrow hoping for their first series sweep of the season. Cole Hamels will be on the mound against Marlins righty Sandy Alcantara. You can watch the game on NBC Sports Chicago or join Pat and Ron on the radio at 670 The Score.