|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, April 16, 2019
Marlins Park, Miami, Florida Attendance: 8,137
Cubs' Quintana hoping to continue success at Marlins
Chicago Cubs at Miami Marlins
- The Cubs took five of seven games from the Marlins last season. That is the most wins by either team in a season series since Miami swept Chicago (6-0) in 2007. On March 30, 2018, the Marlins won a 17-inning game against the visiting Cubs, 2-1, the longest game in Marlins Park history.
- The Cubs split a weather-shortened two-game series with the Angels in Chicago. The Cubs left a season-high 11 runners on base in a failed comeback in the second game, a 6-5 loss. Chicago has just two comeback wins this season after leading MLB with 48 comeback wins in 2018.
- The Marlins dropped two of three against the Phillies in Miami, including a 14-inning loss on Sunday. The Marlins scored a season-high 10 runs on Saturday, which equals the number of runs they have scored in the other eight of their last nine games.
- Willson Contreras went 4-for-9 with two home runs against the Angels. Contreras has a 1.198 OPS so far this season. The only Cubs catcher in the live-ball era to have a higher OPS through the first 14 team games of a season was Gabby Hartnett in 1925 (1.281; minimum 40 PA; based on season position).
- Yu Darvish is 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA through three starts of the season. Darvish did not walk a batter in 5.1 innings in his last start after issuing 11 free passes over his first two starts. The last time he went five-plus innings and did not allow a walk was on September 25, 2017 while pitching for the Dodgers.
- Trevor Richards has five consecutive quality starts dating back to his last two starts of 2018. Richards has allowed four runs and has 35 strikeouts across the five outings. The last Marlins pitcher to pitch at least 30 innings and strike out 35 or more batters over a five-start span was Jose Fernandez in 2016.
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The pressure is on left-hander Jose Quintana of the Chicago Cubs.
Quintana, who will start against right-hander Pablo Lopez at the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night, was acquired by the Cubs on July 13, 2017 in a trade with the Chicago White Sox.
So far, Quintana is 21-15 in a Cubs uniform, including 1-1 this year with a 5.14 ERA in three appearances.
However, the Cubs gave up four prospects to get him, including Eloy Jimenez, who has become the White Sox starting left fielder this year as a 22-year-old rookie; and right-hander Dylan Cease, a 23-year-old potential star who is off to a great start at Triple-A Charlotte and who appears close to a big-league promotion.
On April 12, Jimenez -- ranked the No. 3 prospect in baseball at the start of this season -- created a stir when he went 3-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs in a 9-6 win over the New York Yankees.
Perhaps knowing that this trade could ultimately tilt heavily in favor of the White Sox, Quintana pitched seven scoreless innings in a win over the Pittsburgh Pirates last Thursday, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out 11.
"I focused better on my changeup," Quintana said.
That was Quintana's best start since May 19, 2018, when he also pitched seven scoreless innings, this time allowing just one hit against the Cincinnati Reds. It was also Quintana's biggest strikeout performance since he got 12 Ks on July 16, 2017 against the Baltimore Orioles in his Cubs debut.
Quintana doesn't have extensive history against the Marlins -- 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA in two starts and 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in one Miami appearance.
Lopez, a 23-year-old rookie from Venezuela, will be making his 14th major league start. He is 3-6 with a 4.64 ERA for his career and 1-2 with a 6.60 ERA in three starts this year.
He's had good success in one career start against Philadelphia, posting a 1.50 ERA. Lopez has also been better at home (2-3, 3.89 ERA) than on the road, giving the Marlins hope for Tuesday's game.
The Marlins, who lost 7-2 to the Cubs on Monday, have dropped 11 of their past 13 games and have yet to win a series this season.
Excluding a rare 10-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, the Marlins have averaged just 1.1 runs in their past seven games.
The Marlins did get a lift on Monday from backup catcher Chad Wallach, who slugged his second career homer. Wallach has started two straight games in place of Jorge Alfaro, who has sore ribs.
Wallach, 27, is a strong defensive catcher who got just 11 at-bats during his debut year of 2017, batting .091. Last year, in 45 at-bats, he hit .178. This year, in 21 at-bats, he is hitting .333, and he credits the sweat equity he achieved this past winter.
"A lot of it was working on my confidence," Wallach said. "It's about trusting what I worked on in the offseason. I've shortened my swing -- it was long last year. That got me in trouble. I just shortened it and cleaned up some stuff."
Another thing to watch for on Tuesday is a possible escalation of the hit-by-pitches that occurred on Monday. Chicago's Kris Bryant was plunked twice, and Willson Contreras was hit once.
Chicago's Yu Darvish countered by hitting Miami's Lewis Brinson.
It will be interesting to see if that escalates on Tuesday.
--Field Level Media
Updated April 16, 2019