Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s debacle: Victor Caratini was the only Cubs pitcher who did not allow a baserunner.
That’s right, Caratini, the catcher who occasionally plays first base and whose pitches register just shy of 70 mph on the radar gun.
Almost everything else went badly as the Cubs lost 10-2 to the Mets.
“It was just one of those days, man,” manager Joe Maddon said. “They beat us soundly today. Every which way, they beat us.”
It started with, well, the starter.
Jose Quintana’s winless streak reached nine starts as he gave up a season-high nine runs (eight earned) in 4„ innings. He tied a career high by surrendering three home runs, and his ERA ballooned from 3.87 to 4.50.
Scattered boos rained down on Quintana as he left the game in the fifth.
“Rough day,” Quintana said. “It was pretty frustrating for me. I try to get results, and every start I try to win the game, and with a day like that, it’s really tough. I feel really bad, but I never quit. I want to continue to do my job and get results. That’s all.”
Quintana did not take long to run into trouble. He surrendered a 419-foot blast to Pete Alonso, the second hitter of the game, who matched Darryl Strawberry for the Mets’ rookie record with his 26th home run.
New York added two in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth and three in the fifth before finally chasing Quintana.
Quintana has gone 49 days since earning his last victory May 5 against the Cardinals.
In nine starts since then, he is 0-6 with a 5.40 ERA. The Cubs are 1-8 in those games.
“There was no finishes on the pitches today; that’s the best way I can describe it,” Maddon said. “Normally, he has that carry at the end. It just wasn’t there today. I know that may sound ambiguous or obscure, but that’s what you see from the side where the ball jumps at the end or it doesn’t. They were on him. They were just on him from the beginning.”
Cubs hitters have not helped Quintana’s cause. The team has scored 19 runs in his last nine starts for an average of 2.1 runs per game. That is a drastic difference from Quintana’s first six starts, during which the Cubs scored 42 runs for an average of seven runs.
The bats were quiet again as the Cubs had only six hits, three of which came from Jason Heyward.
Caratini started at first base in place of Anthony Rizzo, and he missed an easy throw from Kris Bryant for a fielding error that led to a run. Willson Contreras had two passed balls to give him five on the season, and Kyle Schwarber let a ball get behind him on a diving attempt in the fourth to allow another run to score.
Caratini provided a rare highlight in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning. He punctuated the effort with a terrific play in which he raced off the mound, picked up a soft grounder toward the third base side and made a leaping throw across the diamond to retire Wilson Ramos.
“The biggest thing is we have to play a complete game,” Maddon said. “We will. We will get back to the normalcy on the field. I believe the pitching will pitch better. We’ve got to take advantage of run-scoring opportunities, and we’re going to have to beat some better pitching, too.
“It’s not easy. The league has gotten better, and there are no pushovers.”