BALTIMORE – For 72 hours, the anticipation built following one of the most anticipated first starts for a Cubs’ pitcher in recent memory.
Traded from the South Side to the North Side on Thursday, many fans were excited to see if Jose Quintana would be able to elevate his game when he traded White Sox black for Cubs ‘ blue. After all, he’s the first player to flip sides in a Chicago crosstown trade in 11 years.
Indeed fans weren’t let down on Sunday at Camden Yards as Quintana delivered a performance as historic as his acquisition.
The left-hander took the mound against the Orioles with his best stuff, striking out 12 batters over seven innings without allowing a run in an 8-0 Cubs win that finished off a sweep in Baltimore.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Quintana becomes just the second player in Major League Baseball since 1900 to strike out ten-or-more hitters for two different team in consecutive starts. Last Saturday, the pitcher struck out ten batters in a win over the Rockies as a member of the White Sox.
He joins Randy Johnson, who had the same achievement for the Mariners than the Astros in 1998.
Along with some MLB history, Quintana tied the Cubs’ record for strikeouts in a debut. Matt Garza also had 12 in his Cubs’ debut on April 3, 2011.
Quintana began his performance on the right foot as he struck out Adam Jones to start off the first inning. Quintana was perfect through the first three innings and only allowed two hits during his time on the mound, striking out two-or-more batters in four of his seven innings.
Unlike a number of his starts with the White Sox, Quintana got run support early and often for the Cubs. Ian Happ drove in two runs with Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist adding one each in a four-run Cubs’ second inning that gave the pitcher room to breath.
Kris Bryant added more in the fourth inning with a two-run shot that made it 6-0, making it a historic and successful debut for the newest Cubs pitcher.