Powell: The Cubs can thank Jose Quintana for their Game 3 victory

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jose Quintana throws during the first inning of Game 3 of the National League Division Series baseball game against the Washington Nationals Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

By Kevin Powell

WRIGLEY FIELD – No run support and bad defense. Yep, sounds like a Jose Quintana start. As the Cubs were doing everything they could to lose, Quintana was keeping them in the game, pitching in to the sixth while allowing just two hits and no runs. And the Cubs found a way to pull off a, 2-1, Game 3 victory.

“We got it done because our pitching was so good, quite frankly,” Joe Maddon said. “Their guy – give Scherzer a lot of credit, man, to come off that injury like he did and pitch as well as he did, that’s phenomenal. And then our guy matched him, which we needed tonight.”

The Cubs can thank Jose Quintana for the win. As Maddon said, there’s no way you win that game without a great performance from your starter. Max Scherzer carried a no-hitter into the seventh. Think about that. The Cubs were no-hit through most the game, committed four errors and still won.

And don’t forget, that was Quintana’s postseason debut.

“I thought he handled it beautifully,” Maddon said.

Everything is magnified in October. One mistake can lead to a loss. In Game 1 the Cubs took advantage of a Anthony Rendon error. Game 2, Carl Edwards made one bad pitch. And in Game 3, it appeared Kyle Schwarber’s blunder in the sixth would lead to a loss. But the Cubs were able to overcome their mistakes, make a couple big plays and take a pivotal game in the series.

“We’ve been playing together for a few years and we know it,” Anthony Rizzo, who had the game-winning hit, said WE give our best all the time. No one wants to make a mistake. No one wants give up a hit. No one wants to give up the run or make an error. And we understand that. That’s what you do as a good teammate –you have to pick up everyone on the team.”

Rizzo may be remembered as the hero with the go-ahead bloop single in the eighth. But this should be known as the Jose Quintana Game.

NEWS and NOTES

  • Rizzo has hit safely in nine straight postseason games…tied for the third-longest streak in club history.
  • Wade Davis is now 6-for-6 in postseason save chances. He has a .79 ERA in the playoffs.
  • Cubs pitchers have held the Nationals to just 11 hits in this series

 

Kevin Powell covers Chicago baseball for WGN Radio and anchors sports on The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes, M-F/3-7p. Follow on twitter @kpowell720