Chicago Cubs: Quintana dazzles, Bryant struggles in win vs. MIA

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jose Quintana was brilliant over seven innings. However, Kris Bryant’s struggles continued in the win against the Marlins.

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jose Quintana was looking to put up back-to-back quality starts for the first time since he did so on September 5th and September 11th of last season. Quintana actually had three quality starts in one a row in that span last season with the other one coming on August 31st.

He is one of the Cubs starting pitchers that absolutely needs to have a good season. Quintana came over in the Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease trade from the White Sox. Outside of his first start after the trade, he’s been extremely up and down in a Cubs uniform. That being said, Quintana was terrific tonight in his start against the Marlins tossing seven innings with zero earned runs and seven strikeouts. This coming on the heels of a fantastic performance in a 2-0 victory last Thursday against the Pirates when he pitched seven innings with 11 strikeouts.

Quintana came into tonight’s start with a 7.20 ERA allowing an opposing batters to slash 0.300/0.364/0.550. However, he threw 63 of 91 pitches for strikes and looked dominant all evening. He rarely got behind in the count and was it one of his best starts as a Cub. Quintana has now tossed 14 consecutive scoreless innings and his ERA is down to 3.43.

However, Cubs third basemen, Kris Bryant, continues to struggle in 2019 as he went 0-5 on the evening. He came into the game slashing 0.236/0.354/0.382. Bryant is having a really odd season because his strikeout and walk percentage are good on paper at 10.8 percent and 23.1 percent, respectively. He just seems to be hitting the ball right at defenders. Anyway you spin it, he is an average hitter both visually and statistically as Fangraphs has his wRC+ at 100 for the 2019 season.

Taking a closer look at his stats, he is hitting groundballs at an alarming rate of 50 percent with his flyballs down near 30 percent. Just for reference, his career averages in these categories are 34 percent and 43 percent, respectively. I know Bryant has indicated that his shoulder is completely fine but part of me believes something is still bothering him. He just does not look like the same hitter from the 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons.

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It’s really easy for us, as fans, to overreact to Bryant’s start as the Cubs are just 16 games into the season, but the team would like to be able to rely on him to drive in runs. He has just one home-run on the season, which came on Opening Day. Hopefully he can start putting up numbers we are used to seeing from him.