The Cubs exercised their $10.5 million team option on Quintana for 2019 on Wednesday. Quintana provided stability for the Cubs during the 2018 season, finishing with a 4.03 ERA and 1.32 WHIP with 158 strikeouts across 174.1 innings (32 starts). This shouldn't come as a surprise since Quintana's contract is a bargain for a durable left-hander that has remained successful since coming over from the White Sox last summer.
Quintana (13-11) took the hill in Monday's loss to the Brewers and wound up with a no-decision. He went five innings and gave up one run on six hits while striking out six. It was a solid performance by Quintana to close out the regular season, although it did mark the fourth straight start that he only lasted five innings. He'll finish the year with a 4.03 ERA and 1.32 WHIP and hope that he'll make a start in the postseason if the Cubs can get by the Rockies in the wild-card round.
Quintana will start the tie-breaking Game 163 on Monday against the Brewers, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports. The Cubs and Brewers finished the 162-game schedule tied with the record of 95-67, so they'll have an additional game Monday at Wrigley Field to decide the winner of the NL Central. Quintana had a 2.17 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in six starts against Milwaukee this season, so it's unsurprising for him to get the call in the pivotal game.
Quintana (13-11) allowed five runs on nine hits while striking out eight over five innings, taking the loss Friday against the White Sox. Quintana was spotted an early 1-0 lead, but that would quickly evaporate after surrendering three runs in the second, one in the fourth and another in the sixth. He was yanked from the ballgame with 88 pitches (56 strikes). Friday's outing was uncharacteristic of how Quintana has pitched this season, owning 3.95 ERA and 1.34 WHIP with a 150:68 K:BB through 164.1 innings prior to his disappointing performance. He'll have a chance to redeem himself in his next start Wednesday against Pittsburgh.
Quintana (13-9) tossed 6.2 scoreless innings to record the win Tuesday against the Brewers. He allowed three hits and two walks while striking out seven. Quintana continued his good run of late, as he's now allowed two earned runs or fewer in five straight starts. During that span, the lefty is 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 29.1 innings, as he's looking like the pitcher the Cubs thought they were getting when they swung a trade with the White Sox last year that included top prospect Eloy Jimenez. Quintana will look to keep rolling in his next outing, which is scheduled for Sunday against the Reds.