View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Monday

17

July 2017

58

COMMENTS

Quintana Has Arrived!

Written by , Posted in General

I know that I should begin this with the caveats that the Orioles aren’t very good and their starting pitching, in particular, is quite bad.  But I’m not in the mood for any of that glass is half-empty bull$&!#.  The Cubs rocked it in Baltimore this weekend, and today’s game was especially fun to watch.  So I’m all about focusing on the positive in this column.

This was, of course, Jose Quintana’s first start for the Cubs.  And what a beauty it was.  If Jose was nervous or feeling pressure to perform for his new team he didn’t show it.  His first inning pitched as a Cub went 1-2-3, and took him all of 11 pitches to do it.  He struck out Adam Jones on a slider in the dirt and, incidentally, Willson Contreras threw it down to first at maybe 60% velocity which I found very encouraging from a development point of view.  Quintana then got Manny Machado to pop out to right and Johnathan Schoop to ground out to Addison Russell.  Bada boom, bada bing!

As great as the first two wins in this series were, I was troubled that so much of the Cubs’ scoring had come via the home run.  That’s why it really warmed my heart when the Cubs offense put together a lovely, home run free rally in the top of the second.  Contreras lined a double into the left centerfield gap.  Then Kyle Schwarber did the same.  Not wanting to be left out, Ian Happ hit almost the exact same spot on the wall as the previous two and brought them home to start off the scoring.  Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist followed up the doublefest with singles and just like that Quintana had a four run lead.

In the top of the fourth, Kris Bryant decided that the home run was still a cool thing and launched one into the stands in left field with Jon Jay aboard to run the Cubs’ lead to 6.

The bottom of the fourth saw what I thought was the coolest part of the game.  Adam Jones roped Quintana’s first pitch of the inning into the left field corner for a ground rule double, and all of the sudden after three uneventful innings it looked like the O’s might be getting something going.  The O’s broadcast team flashed up a graphic that showed Quintana’s opponents have hit .342 against him with runners in scoring position this year.  But even with a 6 run lead Quintana was having none of that.  He got Machado to ground out, which did move Jones to third.  But then he struck out Schoop and Mark Trumbo to end the threat, such as it was.

I just have to say, Quintana looked pretty badass out there.  He had a look on his face that to me read, “not today mother%&#@ers!”  He made me think of the Green Day song Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, in which the first line is, “I’m not f^@#ing around!”  He just looked like he wasn’t going to give up anything no matter how big a lead the Cubs had.

In all Quintana threw 7 innings, giving up three hits while striking out 12.  He then handed it over to Carl Edwards, Jr. who worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning.  Brian Duensing then tossed a pleasantly uneventful ninth to seal the deal.

As the Cubs were knocking the ball around in the top of the ninth, the Orioles’ announcers commented on how the energy level of the Cubs had been noticeably higher than the O’s throughout the whole series.  And that got me wondering: Has the acquisition of Quintana given the Cubs a much needed jolt of energy and woken them out of the season long malaise they have been zombie-walking through?   Time will tell, but I like what I saw in Baltimore this weekend.

On to Atlanta!

  • Bryzzo1744

    I’m excited. I like the trade of Quintana. I talked to some of my white sox friends over the weekend (i have plenty of white sox friends who actually know baseball), and they like the trade on their end. This will probably end up being a trade that works out for both teams.

    It’s similar to what we did in 2013 and 2014 when we would trade players for prospects, except those trades we won.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      I see you have promoted the white sox up from trash.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I’m not going to refer to my friends as trash

      • Dork

        This is the first that I am hearing that you have white sox fan friends.

        say that real fast.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Several of my good friends like them

      • Plenty.

      • Brad Lyerla

        As a baseball fan, I watch some of the White Sox games and have been impressed by Quintana. I also take seriously Rick Hahn’s very complimentary description of Q as he said good bye.

        I think Q is a great addition.

      • Bryzzo1744

        2020 Cubs-White Sox World Series. That would be the end of Chicago.

      • Brad Lyerla

        I would pay a lot to be at one of those games.

      • Bryzzo1744

        At Wrigley or wherever the sox play?

    • Are these the same plenty friends who watch Arthur?

  • chrismartin17

    Does Joe Maddon get any credit at all for the hot second half start? Or are the players doing well in spite of him?

    • Adam Peters

      In spite. They are full of spite.

    • Doc Raker

      Maddon is a genius. He platooned Schwarbs and Almora, used JJ during the series and had the bottom of the line up carry the team which is always genius.

    • cap’n realist

      approaches seem better at the plate. Give him credit for some of that. The bullpen was woefully mismanaged on Friday, though they eeked out a win. He wrote Quintana’s name on the lineup card Sunday, then stayed in the dugout to watch. Mad props, Joe. On Sunday he led off a guy with a .319 OBP and hit a guy with a .377 OBP 9th. So that seems dumb. Seems like every plus is offset with a minus. Here at the VFTB, things have been good. All 3 top parts have been well done since Friday.

    • Sherm

      I would give more credit to the FO and Theo for the injection of energy.

      Maddon’s quote, which I have to paraphrase because I don’t have time to look it up, was something like: I didn’t want them to work too hard in the first half because they were tired, but now we can turn it up a notch and that would be good. Or some such.

      Hey, if being an idiot motivates them? And gets that W flag flying more often than not? I don’t care what he says or does – it’s all about winning, and getting hot at the right time. Right now no team is hotter than the Dodgers…which does LA no good if they go cold as a team and fizzle in the playoffs. But when they are playing below their talent and capability levels? I’ll call him out every time. Every. Time. Along with anyone else who deserves it, and/or I find comical, because at the end of the day? It’s really simply about my own amusement!

  • Doc Raker

    Gary Thorne, the Orioles broadcaster, was commenting on the Cubs energy level verse the Orioles. If your team scores they have energy, if they don’t score they have no energy. The spot on honesty of the Orioles broadcasters is refreshing and compelling. When the broadcasters are saying what you are thinking you know they are broadcasting from a fans perspective which I like.

    When was the last time anyone heard Len or JD make a similar critical comment about the Cubs? Len and JD don’t broadcast from a fans perspective, they broadcast from the teams marketing department perspective. Cub Nation deserves better. #FireLenKasper

    • Doug S.

      Tonight we have to choose between Chip and Len? Silence is sounding pretty good right now.

      • Sherm

        It would be fun to have both broadcasts on AT THE SAME TIME. What would happen if you had Chip and Len calling the same play at the same time? I wonder if they would cancel each other out? If total silence would prevail. Or, more likely, Raker would:
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/efe9098d8d56dd826896066093720d33c3b69ae04ce20c486eb7ee891eee8b32.jpg

      • Chips & Dipshit

      • Bryzzo1744

        That’s a good idea. I’m going to do that tonight. Lame Len on my phone, Chip on my TV

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        That just sounds extremely scary, just be sure you do not hurt any brain cells that you need to use.

      • I’ll do Pat and Coomer on XM.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        That sounds like the only smart option for the next couple of days.

      • Seymour Butts

        Ok, I’d watch that!

      • Gross.

      • cap’n realist

        as soon as I read Lizzie’s comment….well, I knew who would type it, and pretty much what you’d type. I’d scold you and tell you you’re better than this…but you aren’t.

      • I need a proofreader. Not for grammar, but for response potential.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Does that mean you get a Lizzie for providing the straight line? I guess I will need to wait until Thursday to find out.

      • No Lizzies for Lizzie!

      • Doc Raker

        Don’t worry, we all ignore Seymour

      • Sherm

        Who?

  • Doc Raker

    Rizzo did his best Aramis Ramirez numbers gatherer impression racking up a few home runs late in the games when the Cubs were already up by 18 runs. Bob Brenly had to be impressed.

  • Between actual baseball and zipping the fam around on the RZR I took the weekend off of the Cubs. Looks like I have some ‘tapes’ to watch.

  • Doc Raker

    I think I am going to start my own podcast broadcast, “Welcome to beautiful Wrigley Field for Cubs Cards. Hello Everybody, I am Raker, Doc along with Sherm and the Capn ready for some Cubs baseball”

    • Doc Raker

      With remote interviews from JSwan and the Merry Band of Misfits from VFTB. Stay tuned for the CAPS idiot of the day phone call right after this message from Vinny’s Smokage Depot, if Vinny’s doesn’t have it it ain’t worth smokin!

      • Doug S.

        Go Doc! This thing can have legs.

      • cap’n realist

        contact the barrister before proceeding. Pretty sure you’re going to run into a problem with ‘express written consent of the Chicago National League Ballclub.’

      • Bryzzo1744

        Yeah. I remember Joe used to do a podcast here and MLB sent him a cease-and-desist letter.

      • Sherm

        Cease is gone. Now it’s just a desist letter.

      • Bryzzo1744

        But at the time it was both. He has ceased. But you are correct, he must desist as well.

      • Sherm

        Jeez, CAPS – it was a joke. Dylan Cease. Gone. I just pulled a muscle in my eye…rolling it.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I see what you did there. D’OH!

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I saw a Simpson’s Trivia game this weekend and immediately thought of you. I must be going crazy.

      • Kyle

        That’s a pretty neat trick, rolling only one eye at a time.

      • Sherm

        I rolled them both. Only injured one of them. Apparently, it wasn’t warmed up.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Looking through a peep hole again?

      • cap’n realist

        yeah, well Dexter Fowler made up for it sending him that ridiculous bottle of scotch last year.

      • Doc Raker

        It would be from a undisclosed location, maybe in international waters like Pirate Radio. Just a DTV feed and an internet connection and I am good to go.

        “Sherm, tell us about today’s line up”. “Well Raker we got a .171 hitter with a hole in his swing bigger than JSwan’s home state of Montana leading off. Quirky Joe is at it again.”

        “JSwan is in a pub with Doug S, JSwan”. “Hello everybody, I am here with Doug S a Pub and Tavern aficionado. Doug, who pours the best Black in Tan and how many Black and Tans will it take to get through this Cubs line up this afternoon?”

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I expect that number of Black and Tans go up as the lead off hitter’s OBP goes down.

      • Doug S.

        Who knows? The bartender’s name is Len and he won’t shut up talking bad music long enough to pour me my drink.

      • Happy Hour with Doug and Jswan could be a successful spin-off.. we’d need a sponsor or two though to pick up the tab.

      • cap’n realist

        Len would make a great bartender. The more he talks the more I drink. Ownership would love him.

    • I’d tune in!

      • Eddie Von White

        I’m already tuned in. We need more.

  • Doc Raker

    Is it against the rules for a manager to take a closer out ever? Wade Davis was getting hit hard and was real close to blowing a 3 run lead. Is it against the rules for Quirky Joe to remove Davis?

    • Sherm

      Maddon removes any and everyone else. Davis is a favorite from the “old” Tampa Bay days, so no…he doesn’t get the hook. And look, it worked out great, right? Joe’s a genius. (Although, as Cap’n texted last night – now Davis will be “too tired” to pitch again this week. Insert slow eye roll here so not to hurt oneself…again.)

      Can you imagine the “Lackey to the bullpen” conversation between Maddon and Bosio?

      Maddon: “you tell him”
      Bosio:” no, you tell him”
      Maddon: you tell him”
      Bosio: “I’m not telling him. You tell him”
      Maddon: “I’m the manager. You tell him”
      Bosio: “You’re the manager. You should tell him”

      Enter Lackey.

      Lackey: “what’s up?”
      Bosio and Maddon, at the same time: “You’re starting Tuesday”

      • Doc Raker

        If the Cubs pick up 1 more quality starter someone is going to have to tell Lackey something he doesn’t want to hear. Lester, Q, Jake, Jimi and new guy. Joe’s answer, well go to a 6 man rotation..