Two-straight victories have the Chicago Cubs and newly-acquired Jose Quintana in position to sweep the Baltimore Orioles to kick off a second-half run.
With a 10-3 blowout win over the Orioles Saturday night, the Chicago Cubs could not have put Jose Quintana in a better position to succeed going into to his first start with the North Siders.
With the Chicago White Sox out of contention for the majority of the first half of the season, Quintana will make his most anticipated start of the season at 12:35 p.m. CT. as the Cubs look to keep the bats that scored 19 runs in two days hot.
Chicago has done most of its damage via the home run. Addison Russell, who struggled mightily in the first half of the season hitting .226, has two home runs in two days. That includes the game-winning solo shot Friday after the Cubs blew a 8-0 lead.
Russell has two of the seven home runs the Cubs launched at Camden Yards this weekend. Quintana should feel comfortable knowing the offense has turned the corner, or so it seems.
Woes in Baltimore
After switching sides in Chicago in a rare blockbuster trade between both of Chicago’s baseball teams, Quintana looks to start his next chapter on a good path despite his woes at Camden Yards.
Quintana last faced Baltimore on May 7, giving up four runs on nine hits in five innings. For his career, he’s 1-3 with a 5.16 ERA in Baltimore.
The lefty goes against Ubaldo Jimenez. The former Colorado Rockies hurler Jimenez have been less than great, to say it nicely. He sports a earned run average over 6.00 and has allowed five or more runs seven times this season.
The Orioles (42-48) are 3-8 in July and look like potential sellers at the trade deadline after a hot April (15-8 record). Since May 1, Baltimore is 27-40 and it doesn’t get easier with the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros coming to town later next week.
Solid outings key for Quintana with Cubs
The Cubs need solid outings from Quintana if they plan to make a run at the NL Central crown. The inconsistencies of the rotation for most of the season have been noted by all.
Mike Montgomery lasted just 4 1/3 innings Friday in an eventual win. Jake Arrieta began his second half by going 6 2/3 innings yesterday. He allowed just one earned run in the Cubs’ blowout win over his former team.
Quintana’s been nothing but positive since changing teams. With the trade, he has a chance to help get the Cubs back to the elite level they were at last season. Furthermore, he could finally be a part of a postseason team for the first time.
According to reports, Quintana heard trade rumors all season but was happy to stay in Chicago when the news broke Thursday.
"“I think it was the best trade for me,” Quintana told MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat. “I’m really happy to be a part of this team, and we have a good chance to go to the playoffs, so I’m excited for that.”"