What You Need To Know: This one was scratchy all around. Jose Quintana treated his pitches like he was riding a bull and was fighting out of trouble for pretty much every out of his 4 2/3 innings. The Cubs hit two home runs, which is good. The Braves hit three home runs, which is bad. The frogurt is also cursed. And then as seems to be the custom for pretty much every team these days, once the bullpens enter darkness descends upon all offenses The Cubs put up a rally in the ninth, and Bryant hit a line-drive on the last pitch of the game, but it was right at Ronald Acuna Jr. And that is how that one went down.
Next Level: Jose Quintana has been a rough watch most of his starts. Of his eight starts, only three have gone well, the two against Milwaukee and last out against Miami. If you thought that meant he turned a corner, then we’re still in a circle. Quintana started the year trying to throw more fastballs and more often to both sides of the plate, where he’d essentially been driving them into righties and away from lefties for his career. That changed last start, and did so again where Q went back to throwing just as many cutters/sinkers as his four-seam. The problem was he couldn’t get the four-seam over, as just 19 of 47 were. That’s not going to cut it, though all his walks were restricted to the first inning. He was still behind in a lot of counts. Like, going down 3-0 on Flowers when the wind was blowing out. For Bautista’s homer, Quintana tried going in with his first pitch fastball and he did. But at 90 MPH on his 99th pitch, it wasn’t quite enough. Q’s velocity is down a touch from the past couple years, but not that much. But on a humid day grinding away like you’re on a chain gang through five innings, you’re going to lose some juice.
-It could have been much worse, as the Braves left 12 men on base. Feels like that’s one you should get when that happens.
-Half the Cubs outs came on grounders today, and then a few more of their hits. They don’t actually hit that many grounders (12th in GB% in the NL) it just feels like they do.
-Yet another game the Cubs had to get the cavalcade of relievers out, with seven more games this week. The Iowa shuttle is going to have to get gassed up.
Top WPA Play: Almora’s homer in the 2nd that put the Cubs up 2-1. (+.206)
Bottom WPA Play: Bautista’s homer in the 5th that should have had a movie on it. (-.313)
Lead photo courtesy Matt Marton—-USA Today Sports