Qat. Qwerty. Faqir. While there are a few words that break from the natural order of requisite letter combinations, we generally find that things work better when q and u are paired together. The Cubs found that to be true this weekend as Q and Yu stifled the Reds over 13 combined innings, allowing only one total run on three hits.
Not bad for a pair of pitchers who’ve inspired far more talk of buyer’s remorse than they have Cy Young candidacy. Actually, even one conversation about the former would outweigh the latter. So having them step up in consecutive games at a time when the bullpen really needed a break was quite a relief. Get it, relief?
What makes it even better is that both, Jose Quintana in particular, were pretty much up against it in terms of the team’s need to get innings from a starter. Given that it was the second game of a double-header after the first had gone to extras, it’s entirely possible that the lefty could have been left in to wear one had the situation called for it.
Then you had Darvish, who was coming off of a game in which he left early with cramping in his leg. Flu or no, dude really needed to step up and quiet some of the garbage narratives about being mentally weak. And if you really think that’s a thing, I suggest you head to a foreign country inside a foreign country and try to perform beneath a mountain of hype. Oh, then try to come back from the reconstruction of your body’s most important joint.
Before we go taking this whole thing too far, let’s go ahead and agree that the Reds are far from a good team and any performance against them must be seasoned appropriately. But it’d be foolish to completely overlook what Quintana and Darvish were able to accomplish in taking the last two games against their division rivals in convincing fashion.
Despite what their inconsistent performance to this point may have indicated, both veterans are entirely capable of repeating these starts over and over throughout the rest of the season. It might not have opponents reaching for their official Scrabble dictionary, but having Q and Yu paired like this will be really good for the Cubs.