Chicago Cubs: Craig Kimbrel on the cheap; Jose Quintana dominant again

Rumors continue to swirl around free agent hurler Craig Kimbrel as the Chicago Cubs won their fourth contest in their last five attempts on Tuesday night.

The tide seems to be turning for the Chicago Cubs. After an abysmal start to the season, the club seems to be picking up steam in recent days, due at least in part, I’m sure, to getting to go head-to-head with a Mike Trout-less Angels and the lowly Miami Marlins.

Left-hander Jose Quintana has been a big part of that turnaround. After dominating his last time out, Q took the mound in Miami Tuesday and was lights-out once again. Over his last two starts, he has a staggering 18-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 14 innings. Javier Baez blasted his fifth homer of the year as part of a three-hit night and Jason Heyward added a pair of singles in the 4-0 win.

With the victory, Chicago crept within two games of .500 – which might not seem like much if not for the team’s lackluster start in the first two weeks.

Off the diamond, both Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Kuechel remain unsigned, despite beginning the offseason as two of the top hurlers on the open market. In recent days, though, it looks as if both guys may be ready to break and lower their demands. Could Chicago check on Kimbrel if his price drops low enough? It seems unlikely, but you never know.

Since dropping two of three to Milwaukee at Miller Park, Chicago has not lost a series.

The club took two of three from the Bucs, split with the Angels (in the two games that were actually played) and have already secured a series victory in South Florida. Taking advantage of the rest of the month will be key if they want to get back in the race for the NL Central.

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