Tag Archives: Jose Quintana

Dodgers’ Dave Roberts Knows Cubs Need To Be ‘Special’ To Overcome 3-0 Hole

By Chris Emma— CHICAGO (CBS) — In the long history of baseball, only one team has ever come back from a 3-0 postseason deficit. It was the Boston Red Sox of 2004 who reeled off four straight victories in the American League Championship Series to stun the rival Yankees. With the Red Sox trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 4, Dave Roberts boldly stole second base and scored the tying run, setting a historic comeback in motion. Roberts is now managing a Dodgers team that leads the Cubs 3-0 in the National League Championship Series. His group is now looking to win that one more game and advance on to the World Series, while the Cubs have their sights set on four straight victories. “I think that was a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Roberts said with a smirk and wink prior to Game 4. “It was a special group. It was a very lax group, but professional. Obviously, we were written off. But we did a good job of trying to focus on that game at hand and not getting ahead of ourselves. “But it also takes some luck involved, too, because if you look back at that series, there were a lot of plays and things that could’ve gone a different way that went in our favor. “To win four straight games was tough. It took a special team.” The Cubs have overcome obstacles of their own, including a 3-1 deficit in the World Series last fall against the Indians. They had similar struggles at the plate against the Dodgers in the 2016 NLCS, but would prevail in six games and advance on. But this team has appeared to be worn down. The Cubs had to battle by the Nationals in a five-game slugfest of a series to even reach this next round, while the Dodgers have yet to lose this postseason. After sweeping the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers watched and waited for their opponent. Manager Joe Maddon was willing to admit that the cumulative effect of three postseasons and bouts with adversity this year have taken a toll on his team, but also added that the Cubs will not concede anything against the Dodgers. When the Cubs trailed the Mets 3-0 in the 2015 NLCS, they called upon Kevin Millar – he of the 2004 Red Sox – for a pregame pep talk that did not bring the desired result. The Cubs of 2016 resorted to speeches from team leaders like David Ross and Jason Heyward en route to the World Series. Jose Quintana, who is slated to start a potential Game 5 at Wrigley Field, said Wednesday that veterans like Jon Lester, John Lackey and Jon Jay were among those offering words of encouragement upon arrival to the ballpark before Game 4. As he looked around the clubhouse, Quintana said he could see there was no panic in his teammates’ eyes. “We have a really good team, a lot of talent and we can do it,” Quintana said. “One game at a time.” Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

Cubs To Start Jose Quintana In Game 1 Of NLCS

(CBS) After weighing their options on a depleted pitching staff, the Cubs will start left-hander Jose Quintana against the Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday evening, according to the Chicago Tribune and multiple reports. Quintana will opposes Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Quintana went 7-3 with a 3.74 ERA with the Cubs after being acquired in a mid-July trade from the White Sox. He threw 5 2/3 innings against the Nationals in Game 3 of the NL Division Series, allowing just one run, unearned, on two hits. The Cubs spent much of Friday debating who should start Game 1 after they had to use all four of their primary starters across the final two games of tense NLDS. Quintana had the lightest workload of those, recording two outs and throwing 12 pitches in a Game 5 clincher on Thursday. “I will tell you I am ready,” Quintana said Friday. No. 5 starter John Lackey had been the other candidate to start. He was in the bullpen in the NLDS but didn’t make an appearance. Quintana didn’t make a start against the Dodgers this season.

Cubs Not Ready To Name Starter For NLCS Game 1

(CBS) Upon arrival in Los Angeles on Friday, Cubs manager Joe Maddon wasn’t ready to name a starter for Game 1 of the Nationals League Championship Series against the Dodgers on Saturday. The Cubs’ decision is between left-hander Jose Quintana and right-hander John Lackey, Maddon confirmed, though after a long day of travel, no choice was made. Quintana threw 12 pitches of relief during the seventh inning of a 9-8 victory against the Nationals in Game 5 of the NL Division Series on Thursday in Washington. He last started Monday, a 2-1 Cubs win in Game 3 in which he went 5 2/3 innings. Lackey was in the bullpen in the NLDS but wasn’t used. Right-hander Jake Arrieta started in Wednesday’s rescheduled Game 4 at Wrigley Field, and left-hander Jon Lester pitched an extended appearance in relief. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks started in Game 5, which has left Maddon with the options of Quintana (7-3, 3.74 ERA with the Cubs in the regular season) or Lackey (12-12, 4.59). Maddon did say that Lester could be in line to start Game 2 on Sunday. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will start Game 1, while Los Angeles follows with left-hander Rich Hill in Game 2, right-hander Yu Darvish in Game 3 and left-hander Alex Wood in Game 4. The Cubs’ decision for a Game 1 starter will be finalized between Maddon and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein later Friday. First pitch between the Cubs and Dodgers comes Saturday at 7:08 p.m. CT from Los Angeles.

Jose Quintana, John Lackey Are Cubs’ Candidates To Start NLCS Game 1

(CBS) To outlast the Nationals in a tense National League Division Series that went the distance, the Cubs had to use their top four starting pitchers over the course of grueling games Wednesday and Thursday. So after a thrilling, nail-biting 9-8 win in Game 5, the Cubs weren’t sure who they’d turn to against the Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday evening. The Cubs started right-hander Jake Arrieta in Game 4 on Wednesday and then used left-hander Jon Lester for 3 2/3 innings in relief. In Game 5, right-hander Kyle Hendricks lasted four innings. Left-hander Jose Quintana came on in relief and got two outs, throwing 12 pitches. That left a long plane ride across to country for the Cubs to decide whether to turn to Quintana or No. 5 starter John Lackey, who was on the NLDS roster but didn’t make an appearance. “We haven’t even talked about that yet,” manager Joe Maddon said, adding Lackey is “definitely in the mix, no question.” Quintana threw 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball in Game 3 of the NLDS before he brief scoreless relief outing. Amid a postgame celebration after Game 5, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein brought up Quintana’s name when asked who would start. “We’ll talk to Q,” Epstein said. “He’s a candidate. It wasn’t much more than a side (session) today. We’ll see. If he’s feeling good, he might be a candidate. We’ll figure it out on the plane before we start drinking.”

Cubs’ Jose Quintana Available In Relief Of Kyle Hendricks In Game 5

(CBS) It will be nearly all hands on deck for the Cubs in a win-or-go-head Game 5 against the Nationals on Thursday night. With the National League Division Series evened 2-2 after Washington’s 5-0 win at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, Chicago left-hander Jose Quintana will be available out of the bullpen to piggyback starter Kyle Hendricks if needed, manager Joe Maddon said. It’s an approach the Cubs utilized in their Game 4 loss, with left-hander Jon Lester relieving starter Jake Arrieta, who allowed one run in four innings but walked five and “was not as sharp as he can be,” as Maddon put it. Lester came in with the Cubs trailing 1-0 and threw 3 2/3 innings of one-run ball. “Obviously starting Kyle, then Quintana will play the role of Jonny Lester tomorrow if it’s necessary,” Maddon said postgame Wednesday. “We talked about that pregame, if it was in fact really close, which it was. That was a good spot for Lester tonight, and then tomorrow, everybody’s available tomorrow. It will start with Kyle, and Q’s ready tomorrow to back up like Jonny did tonight. Then the entire bullpen will be fine tomorrow.” Hendricks will get the Game 5 start for the Cubs six days after he fired a gem in a Game 1, in which he threw seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball. As for the Nationals, they’re unsure of who they’ll start, manager Dusty Baker said. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez or right-hander Tanner Roark are the candidates, he said. Ace right-hander Max Scherzer is expected to be available in relief after throwing 6 1/3 innings in a loss in Game 3 on Monday. “Whoever it is, I hope they pitch like Stras,” Baker said in reference to Stephen Strasburg’s seven scoreless innings Wednesday. After Lester left in the eighth inning Wednesday, Carl Edwards Jr. walked two Nationals, so Maddon turned to star closer Wade Davis, who allowed a grand slam. Maddon shot down the notion that closer Wade Davis wasn’t warmed up after the eighth inning deteriorated quickly. “Once it got to the point where it looked like C.J. was missing the plate a lot, we got him ready,” Maddon said. “We would not have put him in the game had he not said he was ready. The phone rang. He said he was ready. We put him in the game.”

Levine: Cubs’ Jose Quintana Ready For First Playoff Start

By Bruce LevineCHICAGO (CBS) — He has been a starting pitcher for six seasons, but Monday will be the first playoff appearance for the Chicago Cubs’ Jose Quintana. It will be the Colombian-natives first time competing against the Washington Nationals period. Only Howie Kendrick, Adam Lind and Matt Wieters have ever faced the pitcher off of the Nationals’ National League Division Series (NLDS) roster. Monday night, Quintana will go head-to-head with Nats ace Max Scherzer, which is usually a daunting task in itself. The health of Scherzer’s injured hamstring will be a sidebar to watch during Game 3. “This is a huge game for me. I believe it is a huge opportunity as well,” Quintana said Sunday. “This will be my first time in the playoffs. Although it is my first time, nothing is going to change for me. I just need to do the same job and prepare the same way.” But Quintana has the numbers of Chicago Cub’s history working against him. In Game 3 of Division Series, the franchise holds a disappointing 6-16 record. Nonetheless, Joe Maddon believes that his pitcher has already passed the test of throwing in a pressure-packed pennant race. He sighted Milwaukee as such an example, during which Quintana had a three-hit shutout. “I don’t want to always go back in time, but that four-game series was really pertinent. Win two and then lose a tough one,” Maddon said. “Then here comes Quintana. God, he had a great look. My only concern is that he’s over-amped a little bit too much.” Since day one, Quintana has expressed his desire about pitching for the Cubs in the postseason to Maddon. He was traded by the White Sox on July 13. “When he first came over, that is the first thing he talked to me about was getting to the playoffs — getting there and pitching,” Maddon said. “So listen, there is no issue. My only concern — he is going to try too hard.” The 28-year-old responded to concerns about his energy level being too high on Monday saying, “Well, like I have said before, I will just try and stay focused. I will try and control my emotions every time. I think that will be a huge part for me. Especially because it is my first time here.” Quintana was 7-3 with a 3.74 ERA  after he was traded to the Cubs. He was 4-8 with a 4.49 ERA with the White Sox in 2011.

Cubs Rotation: Kyle Hendricks In Game 1, Jon Lester In Game 2, Jose Quintana In Game 3

(CBS) The man who took the ball in Game 7 of the World Series as the Cubs won the championship last season will get the ball in the playoff opener. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks has been tabbed as the Game 1 starter for Chicago as it opens at Washington on Friday night. The Cubs will start left-hander Jon Lester in Game 2 on Saturday, while left-hander Jose Quintana will follow in Game 3 on Monday and and right-hander Jake Arrieta will go in Game 4 on Tuesday, if needed. Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA) started once against the Nationals this season. He took a loss on Aug. 4 at Wrigley Field, going seven innings and allowing three runs, all earned, on five hits and two walks while striking out five. Hendricks has been at his best in the second half, registering a 2.19 ERA in his 13 starts since the All-Star break. Lester (13-8, 4.33) started twice against the Nationals, recording a no-decision both times while throwing well. He had a 2.84 ERA in 12 2/3 innings against Washington. Acquired in a mid-July trade with the White Sox, Quintana (11-11, 4.15) didn’t start against the Nationals this year. He was strong down the stretch, with a 2.51 ERA in five starts in September. Arrieta’s placement in the rotation gives him extra time to recover from a right hamstring that’s still bothering him after he strained it in early September. Arrieta returned to make two starts late in the regular season. His second of those didn’t go well, as he lasted just three innings and 67 pitches and didn’t look like himself in a loss on Sept. 26. Manager Joe Maddon called it “wise” to give Arrieta extra time to rest. If the series gets to five games, Maddon added that the Cubs could choose from Hendricks or Lester to make that start. Because of the two travel days worked into the schedule, Lester could still start Game 2 and go on full rest in Game 5. The Nationals haven’t announced their Game 1 starter yet. Signs have pointed to right-hander Stephen Strasburg as right-hander Max Scherzer deals with a hamstring ailment, but Washington general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters the team will see how Scherzer reacts Wednesday and then announce its starter Thursday.

Levine: Cubs Could Include All 5 Starters On NLDS Roster

By Bruce Levine– CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s rare to see five starting pitchers included on a team’s 25-man roster for a playoff series, but the Cubs find themselves in a unique situation that might necessitate it. With the playoffs starting next week, the Cubs’ top two pitchers aren’t anywhere near top form. Left-hander Jon Lester hit the disabled list in mid-August with shoulder fatigue and has struggled for much of the second half. Right-hander Jake Arrieta strained his right hamstring in early September and has in his second start since returning looked tentative in only going three innings in a loss Tuesday. Arrieta’s schedule start Sunday has been cancelled in favor of a simulated game and more rest. Because of that, the Cubs are considering including all five of their rotation members — specifically No. 5 starter John Lackey — on the National League Division Series roster. Normally, teams include four starters. “It is possible,” manager Joe Maddon said Friday. “It is definitely possible to see all of them involved. Of course, somebody would have to be a part of the bullpen, but it is possible.” Maddon, pitching coach Chris Bosio and executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will meet Monday to determine a rotation configuration. The smart money is on right-hander Kyle Hendricks starting Game 1 against the Nationals next Friday and left-hander Jose Quintana following in Game 2. That would buck conventional wisdom, which would have veterans and big-game performers in Lester and Arrieta getting the ball early in the series. This doesn’t seem like that kind of year, though. Lester and Arrieta have issues to work through and haven’t proved to be as reliable as Hendricks and Quintana lately. And this is no time for sentimentality. Hendricks has a 2.19 ERA in the second half of the season, while Quintana had a 1.63 ERA in September before his start against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon. Lackey will also have a decent shot of being on the NLDS roster. The Cubs were 12-2 in his last 14 starts of the regular season, and he could come out of the bullpen as a long reliever — and also serve as insurance should Arrieta have a setback for any reason. Still, there’s some doubt surrounding the effectiveness of Lackey coming out of the bullpen and being fully warmed up. After Maddon utilized Lackey out of the bullpen in the 2016 season, Lackey hit the DL with a sore shoulder. Left-hander Mike Montgomery was a lifesaver for the Cubs in the 2016 playoffs, and he’ll be ready for any role this October. “I have not thrown two consecutive days very often this season,” Montgomery said. “I will be ready for whatever they ask me to do. My arm feels fine.” Wade Davis, Carl Edwards Jr., Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, Brian Duensing and Montgomery are locks to be in the Cubs bullpen. Lefty reliever Justin Wilson is on the bubble but will be in if the Cubs want three left-handers. If Lackey is included, righty reliever Justin Grimm would most likely be the odd man out. If Arrieta is healthy, the rotation could look like this, in order; Hendricks, Quintana, Arrieta and then Lester. That would put Hendricks in line to start a win-or-go-home Game 5 with Lackey on standby status for the whole series. Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.

Joe Maddon Not Looking Ahead To Cubs’ Playoff Rotation But Praises Jon Lester, Jose Quintana

(CBS) The Cubs’ playoff rotation remains a mystery, in part because they haven’t yet clinched the NL Central and in part because ace left-hander Jon Lester has had some September struggles. But manager Joe Maddon will reveal this much: He’s got the utmost confidence in Lester finding his form, as he did in a 10-2 win against the Cardinals on Monday night, when he threw six innings of one-run ball. Lester is 12-8 with a 4.46 ERA and 1.34 WHIP on the season, with a 4.94 ERA in September after a stint on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue. “Just got to see good health,” Maddon said of Lester on the Spiegel and Parkins Show on 670 The Score on Tuesday. “I think we saw that the last three times out. Last night’s game, he got better in the fifth and sixth inning. He’s done that several times this year, more recently, where he’s gotten better in the latter part of the game. Listen, I have no idea yet what we’re going to do. We have to win one more game (ton clinch the division), and then we’ll set it up. Jon Lester is a proven commodity, man, so I’m not worried about him.” Maddon also expressed confidence in starting left-hander Jose Quintana at home or on the road come playoff time. The game location won’t play a factor in when the Cubs plan to use Quintana, he said. Quintana is 7-3 with 3.50 ERA and 1.09 WHIP since being acquired from the White Sox in mid-July. “It’s probably going to be more set up based on the other team and what we perceive to be who’s pitching best for us in the moment,” Maddon said, speaking of the rotation generally. “There are different ways to match up. I have faith in Jose in both places. I have no issues with anything. I think he’s officially a Cub now. He firmly feels accepted and he feels much more comfortable in his Cubs skin. I have no issues with him pitching at Wrigley or anywhere else.”

Levine: Jose Quintana Returning To Form

By Bruce Levine- 

CHICAGO (CBS) — This season had just not gone well for Cubs pitcher Jose Quintana.

For the previous five years, you could always pencil the left-handed pitcher in with 200 innings and an ERA at about 3.50. He was Mr. Consistency for the White Sox and Mr. Badluck as well. Quintana had more no-decisions thrown than any pitcher in the big leagues since 2012.

Quintana was 4-3 as a Cub with a 4.50 ERA before his start against Pittsburgh on Wednesday evening. Mr.Consistency was anything but consistent with his new ballclub.

The 17-3 blowout for Quintana and company may be a turning point in the season for him as a Cub. Quintana was shaky in the first inning, hitting two batters while allowing two runs. The good news was the breaking ball was moving and he had six strikeouts in two innings.

The line showed a quality start — six innings, four hits and three runs, this along with nine strikeouts and two hit batters.

“I felt pretty good today,” Quintana said.” I made my adjustments and started to hit my spots and get my outs.”

Entering 2017, the trade stories were always hanging over the pitcher’s head. The 28-year-old Colombia native admitted after getting moved to the Cubs in July that the rumors had taken their toll on him.

“I think guys put a little extra pressure on themselves to live up to the moment,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said about his pitcher. “That is just human nature. With him, I think he is still settling into this uniform. He is such a wonderful young man and is so concerned. He wants to do well. I know he is going to be good here for a long period of time.”

Quintana said he felt welcome in the Cub clubhouse from day one.

“I feel comfortable here with all the coaches and teammates,” Quintana said. “Some things were new to me because I had never been (traded). I just try to do my job. Once the game starts, it is the same. You just try to do the job. My job with this team is to help them make the playoffs.”

Indeed, Maddon read the tea leaves correctly.

“The guy keeps getting better game in progress,” Maddon said. “His approach was throwing sharper curveballs for a strike more often. There was more changeup involvement also. The fastball location through the game got better. Outside of the first inning, he pretty much nailed it.

“You can talk about the curveball or the changeup not being there. The fastball location has not been what it had been. That is why we have to help him figure that out. Things like that are very correctable. Sometimes, a guy is trying too hard. It can be as simple as that.”

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