What You Need To Know: Jose Quintana didn’t have it, Miles Mikolas did, and that’s really all there is to know. Q was touched up for six runs in the first, and while the Cubs have done their share of Copperfield acts this season, that’s a bit much to ask.
Next Level: There really isn’t much point in discussing more than Quintana. While it would be tempting for anyone to try and attach some narrative on to it, or extend the one about the Cubs starters struggling either independently or along with a. new pitching coach, every starter has a day like this during the season. Quintana had been on a roll, but there was nothing in his arm today. He couldn’t locate, which meant he either missed the corners and walked too many, or he was over the heart of the plate which meant he got labeled. Marcell Ozuna performed the coup de grace, with a grand slam on a 3-2 curve that sat up long enough to wave hello to Ozuna before being deposited out where the buses don’t run. Q was obviously hyper-aware of already walking in a run and didn’t want to double up, but maybe he should have.
On the other side, Mikolas’s slider was sharp and basically kept the Cubs at bay. They made a hint of a threat in the 4th, with Javy Baez homering for the second straight game and putting two more runners on, forcing Joe Maddon to go for it with pinch-hitting for Q when he might have been tempted to try and get an inning or two more out of him (he settled down after the first, but other than that Mrs. Lincoln how was the play?). La Stella hit it hard but in range for Tommy Pham, and basically…
Top WPA Play: Baez’s homer, of course. Baez is a WPA Play himself. (+.054)
Bottom WPA Play: That would be Ozuna’s Doomsday Gun of a homer in the 1st that plated four. (-.128)
Lead photo courtesy Jeff Curry—USA Today Sports