August has arrived and the Chicago Cubs sit atop the National League Central. Now, it is make or break as they make a push for another division title.
Unfortunately, the San Diego Padres got the best of the Chicago Cubs in yesterday’s series opener. On a positive note, the Milwaukee Brewers were in the same boat as their division rival. These two clubs have battled it out over the last year.
With the addition of veteran southpaw Cole Hamels, the Cubs improved their pitching staff. Hamels started his career on the North Side with a stellar victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he struck out nine.
Moving into today’s weekend showdown with the Padres, Jose Quintana is hoping he’s able to mimic his new teammate’s performance. At least, it would be nice.
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In 2017, the Cubs acquired Quintana from the Chicago White Sox before the trade deadline. Similar to Chicago’s deal with the Texas Rangers minus the involvement of their top prospect.
Sooner or later, we’re going to witness the debut of outfielder Eloy Jimenez. Jimenez is currently with the Charlotte Knights and could see big league action very soon. Baseball is going to thrive in the Windy City.
Meanwhile, Joe Maddon‘s starter for today’s game finds himself struggling with consistency issues as of late. In his previous outing, Jose yielded six earned runs on as many hits and picked up the loss.
Prior to his rocky outing in St. Louis, Jose was 3-0 with a 3.87 ERA. He enters the afternoon 9-7 with an earned run average of 4.26, having recorded only 15 strikeouts in the month of July. A season-low compared to the 23 in both April and June while punching out 34 in May.
Also, he pitched only 22 innings last month – another season-low. Despite the roller coaster ride, Quintana has proven he has what it takes to bounce back following a disappointing outing.
Good sign for the Chicago Cubs, not so great for the San Diego Padres. In mid-May, the 30-year-old southpaw was tagged for six earned runs on nine hits in a clash with the red-hot Atlanta Braves.
He later made the Cincinnati Reds pay for it, hurling seven innings of one-hit ball, cruising his way to a lopsided 10-0 victory. Again, Quintana gives up four in a loss to the Giants; rebounds by picking apart the Mets to end the month.
Room to grow
It’s obvious the lefty has plenty of room to grow and improve as a big league player. Either way, he remains a valuable piece to this starting rotation moving forward. Personally, I’ve been a fan of this man when he was on the South Side.
So, it was exciting to hear the Cubs were able to land him. The remaining three games of this four-game set with the Padres could give his club some much-needed breathing room. Considering the rest of their favorable August schedule, Chicago is going to want to remain on track.
One game at a time, fellas. One game at a time.