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Cubs 11, Indians 4: The Q score

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Jose Quintana was awesome and the Cubs smashed three home runs.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — I got back from the game at Sloan Park Saturday afternoon just in time to turn on my TV and see Jason Kipnis hit a two-out, first-inning single to left field off Jose Quintana.

There you have it: The entire story of the Indians offense off Quintana. He retired the next 16 hitters in a row, finishing up with six one-hit innings with eight strikeouts. Remember Quintana’s dominant shutout last September in Milwaukee? This outing at the very least matched that, and might have even been a little bit better, and this against quite a number of Cleveland regulars.

And remember, everyone: That’s the Cubs’ presumed fourth starter. Who knows? By the time this season ends, maybe Jose Quintana winds up as the best starter on the staff.

While this class in fine pitching was going on, Cubs hitters were pounding the ball all over Cashman Field. Addison Russell, in the first:

Russell went 3-for-3 on the ... night? Afternoon? Evening? Depends on where you were watching, I guess.

Jacob Hannemann, with a man on in the second:

It’s 4-0 at this point. An RBI single by Jason Heyward (who went 2-for-3, a good sign) made it 5-0 in the third, which brought up Mark Zagunis with two runners on:

Now it’s 8-0, and the Cubs tacked on a couple more later on. David Bote, who’s been really impressive this spring, went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles.

Victor Caratini, playing first base in this game, made this slick stop to help protect the big lead:

Nice work by Q getting over to the base, too. Caratini was later hit by a pitch and left the game, though it was probably about time he’d have been replaced anyway. Hopefully he’s no worse than day-to-day.

But Quintana was the real story of this one. While it certainly seems as if Eloy Jimenez is going to be at the very least a solid everyday player for the White Sox within a couple of years, if not an All-Star, I still make that deal 100 times out of 100. The Cubs have Quintana through 2020 at a very reasonable cost, and it’s starting to look like he could be primed for his best season.

The Cubs are a split squad again on Sunday, though this time the Sloan Park opponent will be the Kansas City Royals, while the Cubs and Indians will once again meet in Las Vegas. In Mesa, Tyler Chatwood going against Danny Duffy. At Las Vegas, Rob Zastryzny will start against Stephen Fife. Sunday, both games begin at the same time, 3:05 p.m. CT.

Media coverage for Sunday’s games

Mesa: no audio, TV coverage via Fox Sports Kansas city (available on MLB.tv)
Las Vegas: 670 The Score, NBC Sports Chicago