When the Cubs traded for Jose Quintana last summer, at the cost of (among others) top prospect Eloy Jimenez, it was said to be a good deal for the Cubs because they were getting a very good pitcher under team control for more than three years at a reasonable cost.
Saturday night, we saw what the Cubs saw in him when they dealt for him, as Q threw seven innings, allowing only one hit (and four walks) in a dominant performance. The offense exploded, too, and the Cubs went on to a 10-0 win over the Reds and a split of their day-night doubleheader.
A pair of singles and a force play by Kris Bryant gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the third, and then Ian Happ stepped to the plate to lead off the fourth inning [VIDEO].
As noted on the video, that was a milestone home run in Cubs history, the 14,000th in the history of the franchise. Another fun fact about Happ, who also homered in the afternoon game:
Ian Happ is first #Cubs player to homer in both games of a doubleheader since Chris Coghlan 7/8/2014 also vs Reds— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) May 20, 2018
The Cubs got swept in that 2014 doubleheader. This result was better.
The game got blown open in the fifth inning, when the Cubs scored five runs. Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run double, then an intentional walk to Happ and an unintentional walk by Addison Russell loaded the bases. That brought up Jason Heyward, in his first game back from the concussion DL.
Heyward cleared the bases [VIDEO] with one of the weirdest triples you’ll ever see, a little bloop into right field that was nearly caught by Scooter Gennett. The ball bounced off Gennett’s glove into the right-field corner, and Heyward briefly considered trying for an inside-the-park home run before holding at third. Heyward also singled in the game and drove in a fourth run, tying a career high, with a sacrifice fly that was the Cubs’ eighth run of the evening.
The ninth run scored on a sac fly by Rizzo, and Albert Almora Jr. made it an even 10 with a ninth-inning double. That made this the ninth double-digit game for the Cubs, which leads the major leagues.
Ben Zobrist contributed to the 11-hit attack with a pair of singles, and Tommy La Stella, getting a rare start, went 3-for-5. The Cubs also drew eight walks in this game, bringing the season total to 166, or 3.86 per game. That brings them back to a walk pace, 625, near what it’s been the last two years. The 10 runs also put them just two runs behind the Braves for the National League lead, and since they’ve played fewer games than Atlanta, the Cubs now lead the N.L. in runs per game, 5.37. They might have scored even more runs in this one, as they went just 2-for-11 with RISP.
Mike Montgomery, who might have started this game save for the rainout Thursday, threw a scoreless eighth, and Steve Cishek finished up. Both allowed a hit, so the game wound up as a three-hit shutout, the Cubs’ sixth of the season and first against a team not named “Brewers.”
One more note: Bryant walked twice in this game. He’s quietly putting up MVP-type numbers, and is second in the N.L. in on-base percentage at .427, second in slugging percentage at .583, and first in OPS at 1.010.
The Cubs go for the series win Sunday afternoon at 12:10 CT. Yu Darvish will be on the mound for the Cubs, and Tyler Mahle will start for the Reds. TV coverage Sunday is via NBC Sports Chicago. The game preview will post at 10:30 a.m. CT.