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Jose Quintana strikes out 14, but it’s not enough for a Cubs’ victory

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 13: Jose Quintana #62 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch in the bottom of the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 13, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA – It’s been an interesting month-and-a-half for the Cubs’ left-handed starter who has seen his fair share of success in a number of ways.

In July, he was allowing over five earned runs a game, yet his hitters helped to bail him out with some big offensive efforts. In August, he took care of his own business, allowing just earned runs in 13 innings of work over two victorious starts.

On Tuesday night, things reverted back to Jose Quintana’s days with the White Sox. That’s when the hard-luck pitcher would have outstanding efforts but not receive the support for victory – and it’s a shame, too.

Quintana took the mound at Citizens Bank Park and struck out a career-high 14 batters over six innings, allowing two runs in the process – with just one of them earned. But the Cubs’ offense nor the bullpen could pick him up as the Phillies won it 4-2 on Tuesday night.

It marks the first loss for Quintana since June 22nd and ends a seven-game winning streak for the Cubs when left-hander makes a start. During that stretch, Quintana went 5-0 but that streak ended with a thud on Tuesday.

With the game tied at two after Quintana left, the Phillies got the go-ahead run in the seventh on a JT Realmuto double off David Phelps then added another on Roman Quinn’s triple off Duane Underwood Jr. in the eighth.

Meanwhile, the Cubs offense remained scoreless the final three innings, leaving two runners on in the ninth as they dropped their third game of the current road trip.

Quintana’s performance, however, remains a major storyline, as he enjoyed the best strikeout night of his career. He got three strikeouts in the first innings around a walk and hit batsman in the first, but needed 28 pitches to do it. He’d get three strikeouts in the fifth and sixth innings as well before coming out of the game.

He had some bad luck in the third inning when a dropped fly ball by Ian Happ would lead to a Scott Kingery sacrifice fly that made it 1-0. Realmuto clubbed a homer in the fifth inning but that’s all Quintana would allow.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough like it had been the past month-and-a-half.

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