Quintana, Chicago Cubs turn back Brewers 3-0
The eyelids may be getting heavy on the Chicago Cubs' players, so maybe keeping the light switch in the "ON" position will help.
"Keep the switch on," manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday before his team went out and beat the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 at Wrigley Field behind a strong pitching performance from Jose Quintana.
"You've always got to keep the switch on. When you get through a rain delay, you have to think that you're going to play. When you're scheduled to play in Washington on Thursday and there's a potential hurricane, you've still got to think that you're going to play.
"The trap there is to think that you don't want to play or we're not going to play, and all of a sudden you are. And you have to turn the switch on. That normally creates a bad result. It's a tough stretch. It's one of the worst you're going to go through in baseball. But you've got to keep the switch on."
With the victory, the Cubs (84-60) avoided falling into a tie for first place with the Brewers (83-63) in the National League Central. The Cubs regained a 2-game lead with one more to play in this series.
As he has been through most of his career against the Brewers, Quintana was on. He worked 6⅔ scoreless innings, giving up 3 hits. He did need help from reliever Justin Wilson, who struck out pinch hitter Manny Pina on 3 pitches to leave the bases loaded in the top of the seventh.
Quintana lowered his lifetime ERA against the Brewers from 1.78 to 1.60 while improving to 6-2 against them.
"A couple persons asked me about that," said Quintana, who is 13-9 overall this season with a 3.97 ERA. "No, I feel good. I just try to do my job. I remember the last time they hit me so hard here in Wrigley. I'm so focused today to do my job because it's so important, this game. I went out there and threw the ball where I wanted and gave us a really good chance to win the game."
The Cubs have to play a much-discussed makeup game Thursday in Washington despite the possibility of a hurricane hitting the East Coast. They already were supposed to play 23 games in 23 days, but with the makeup game that will make a stretch of 30 straight days of going to the ballpark through Sept. 19.
"I think we've really handled that well," Maddon said. "Overall that was a nice stretch for us based on the degree of difficulty. But now it's gotten even a little bit more strenuous based on what may happen.
"That's the trick, man. Don't turn your switch off. If you have a dimmer switch, maybe a little bit. If you go there, it's really difficult to get back up to that full wattage. That's what I'm asking the guys to do. It's not easy."
The Cubs took a 2-0 lead against Jhoulys Chacin in the second, with help of 2 Brewers errors.
Quintana gave up a hit and a walk in the fourth before recovering and allowing nothing until a leadoff single to Jesus Aguilar in the seventh. Two outs later, Quintana walked Travis Shaw and gave up an infield single to pinch hitter Hernan Perez before Maddon turned to Wilson, who reached 95 mph on the radar gun.