Quintana Comes Up Big In Cubs' Crucial Win

Jose Quintana fired 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 3-0 win against the Brewers.

Bruce Levine
September 11, 2018 - 11:59 pm
Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana

Matt Marton/USA Today Sports

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CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- The Cubs left it to their resident Brewers killer to lead them to victory in a crucial game Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

Six days after earning a win to help the Cubs stave off a sweep in Milwaukee, left-hander Jose Quintana was even better, throwing 6 2/3 scoreless innings of three-hit baseball to lead his team to a 3-0 victory over the Brewers. The victory increased the Cubs' lead in the NL Central to two games with 18 to play -- and also three in the all-important loss column.

"There is a very confident look about him right now," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I know he really feels good about where he is at right now."

Quintana improved to 4-1 with a 2.17 ERA in six starts against the Brewers this season. He had a 1.20 ERA in two starts against Milwaukee in 2017.

The Cubs plated two runs in the second inning to take the early lead, and that would be all Quintana needed en route to a career-high-tying 13th win. He left the game with two outs in the seventh after the Brewers loaded the bases, but reliever Justin Wilson struck out Manny Pina swinging to end the threat.

Quintana struck out seven and walked two in his outing.

"I felt really good tonight," Quintana said. "I made some adjustments in my last couple of starts. Tonight, I felt very strong with my fastball. I am using that the most right now. My command was fantastic. That allowed me to attack the zone early."

In doing that, Quintana retired nine straight Brewers hitters to start the game and nine straight again from the fourth through the sixth.

"He has pitched well for us," Maddon said. "But these last two against Milwaukee have been different. They know the fastball is coming, but it is still on them. That sets up the curve and changeup for him. This was just a pretty complete night for him."

The Cubs have shut out the Brewers six times this season, the most shutouts for them against one team in a single season since blanking the Reds seven times in 1928.

Chicago and Milwaukee finish their season series Wednesday evening at Wrigley Field.

"They have a good team," said reliever Pedro Strop, who recorded his 13th save. "There is no secret about that. They have gotten better and better. We still have to continue to play our game and not look behind for any negative stuff."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.