Cardinals answer to Max-Q? Lefty Jose Quintana strengthens bid to be October factor

Derrick Goold

MILWAUKEE — No matter how far away from the postseason he felt while on waivers one August, as a free agent the next November, or as a Pirate this past July, Jose Quintana knew there was one surefire way to get closer to October.

There’s a type of pitching that’s always in demand.

“I know I’m going to be a part of a trade, (so) I just want to show that I’ve been pitching well … and maybe play for a contender and play in October,” Quintana said. “If I’m pitching good maybe I get that chance.”

He’s earned it, and the Cardinals are set to give it.

With his 11th consecutive superb outing since coming to the Cardinals via trade, Quintana positioned himself for a prominent role in the playoff rotation. The lefty allowed one run and struck out seven in five innings Wednesday night against Milwaukee in a 5-1 loss at American Family Field. Having clinched the National League Central division title Tuesday night, the Cardinals had nothing to play for in the standings Wednesday.

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Quintana had plenty to pitch for.

The Cardinals will set their postseason rotation based somewhat on the opponent, and with their victory Wednesday, the Brewers inched closer to a rematch. Milwaukee trails the Phillies by a half game for the final wild-card berth. Philadelphia has the tiebreak. The third wild-card team will travel to St. Louis for the…

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