Chicago Cubs can’t help but play ‘what if’ after Tuesday night’s loss

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs needed Jose Quintana in the 2017 rotation

Before the Cubs acquired Quintana from the White Sox they were a sinking ship. They entered the All-Star Break with a 43-45 record and were 5 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the National League Central Division.

The starting rotation was the biggest concern for the Cubs in the first half. The Cubs had four formidable starters but they turned to the likes of Brett Anderson and Eddie Butler to make a combined 17 starts – hardly what you’d call a fearsome duo.

The Cubs knew they needed to upgrade the rotation and couldn’t wait until the Trade Deadline to do it with given their already sizable deficit in the division. They made the early move at the All-Star Break, acquiring Quintana and giving themselves a huge shot in the arm.

In the second half of the season, the Chicago Cubs were a completely different team. They went 49-25 post-Midsummer Classic, won the Central division by six games and went to their third consecutive NLCS.

Quintana was a huge part of that as the Cubs ultimately won 10 of his 14 starts. He pitched to the tune of a 3.74 ERA and posted a 4.67 strikeout-to-walk ratio which was better than he did in the first half with the White Sox.