Jose Quintana’s uneven season with the Cubs this year has been well-chronicled, and is not an unfair label. He has been uncharacteristically wild, his fastball velocity was discouraging in the first half, and his results haven’t been there overall: his 3.95 ERA is about league average, and his 4.50 FIP is the worst of his career (11% worse than league average).
But, we’ve all seen him look much better lately, and it got me wondering about something.
Although it is unquestionable that Quintana has been at his best in the last month or so – when his velocity has ticked up – you can really go back *much* further and find a very good season lurking for Quintana.
Specifically, I remember a couple early-season implosions against the Braves that are probably stinging his numbers pretty hard. The first took place in the blizzard/freezing/absurd (but insanely good ending!) game against the Braves, and the second took place shortly thereafter on May 14.
In his 21 starts since then, Quintana has a 3.51 ERA, a 4.31 FIP, and has averaged just an out shy of six innings per start. That ERA, if it were over the season, would be good for 14th best in the NL, two spots behind Jon Lester and three spots ahead of Kyle Hendricks.
It would also be just a click better than his 3.58 career ERA. Maybe Quintana hasn’t been bad for the season or really good lately or whatever. Maybe he just had two bad blowups against the Braves, and has otherwise just been … himself.