An interesting season continues for the defending champion and current bandwagon fan magnet Chicago Cubs. On Thursday evening, the north side Cubs acquired ace left-hander Jose Quintana from the south side Chicago White Sox, a clear sign that former loveable losers are not giving up after a slightly sub-par first half.
“We had a bad first half,” Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein told the Associated Press. “We did. We own that. We know we can do better.”
Quintana struggled early this season but is on the upswing with some good performances of late. He has posted a 4-8 record with a 4.49 ERA halfway through the year, but hopefully the All-Star break hasn’t broken his stride.
The Cubs will need all the help they can get to catch the Milwaukee Brewers, who currently lead the NL Central with a 5 ½ game lead over the Cubs. With how things can change after the All-Star break, anything is possible, and there’s still a lot of baseball left to be played.
Still, winning the division is looking pretty non-negotiable for anyone not in the NL West. The second and third place teams in the division, the Diamondbacks and Rockies, hold both wild card spots, and only time will tell if the break has slowed them down at all. With Quintana on the mound and Anthony Rizzo lighting up the leadoff spot, the Cubs could be poised for a second-half run.