Through three starts this year, it was hard to know what to make of Jose Quintana (hey, he’s kinda like the rest of the Cubs’ starting pitchers so far, eh?). He got knocked around in Miami, he looked good in Milwaukee, and he was terrible in insanely bad weather at Wrigley.
We had also been tracking his velocity, which was down a couple clicks to start the season, and that’s not typical for him.
Overall, the results have been poor, and you might note that’s something that continued yesterday in Colorado, as Quintana gave up 4 ER in just 5.1 innings pitched. But not all “results” are created equal.
Consider that two of those “earned runs” scored on a routine fly ball to right field that Jason Heyward lost in the sun, and became a triple. Consider that the other two earned runs were a Charlie Blackmon legit homer (tip your cap), and a Nolan Arenado totally-Coors-being-Coors home run. He did give up five batted balls over 100 mph in exit velocity, but 10 were under 95 mph. He wasn’t really getting smacked around.
Even if you don’t credit that side of things, how about this: Quintana struck out 28.0% of the batters he faced, walked just 4.0%, and got a whopping 12 whiffs on just 83 pitches. Clearly, the stuff was good. Moreover, the velocity was more normal on his fastballs, each of which were sitting at 92 mph and touching 93 mph, according to Brooks, almost exactly where he was last year.
In other words, if you looked at that start not through the lens of his first three starts, but instead through the lens of pitching at Coors Field (with an apparently blinding sun), it was basically just, “Yeah, that was Jose Quintana. Cool. Fine. Moving on.”
And that’s all I was really hoping to see yesterday from him. So … cool. Fine. Moving on.
Oh, he also did this, which is pretty darn cool:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 22, 2018