Chicago Cubs: Five reasons team will continue second half surge

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: How good could the Cubs be if Darvish continues to shine?

Despite a couple of trips to the IL and one of the band on the IL right now (Cole Hamels), the Cubs’ rotation has been solid so far this season. While it hasn’t been close to the Dodgers’ rotation, the Cubs have managed to navigate some ups and downs and stay relatively healthy and productive. If Hamels can come back for the stretch run, the Cubs already third-ranked NL pitching corps may just challenge the Dodgers.

One factor that has fans thinking that might be a possibility is the brilliance of Yu Darvish so far in the second half. In two starts since the break, Darvish has yet to allow a run in 12 innings, registering 15 strikeouts against only one walk. If Darvish can continue that kind of dominance, it will keep the pen fresh and help win the Cubs a lot of ballgames.

In addition to Darvish, lefties Jon Lester and José Quintana have both been solid and gutsy in each of their two starts, if not quite dominant.  Giving the Cubs at least six innings in all four starts, the Cubs have not lost with southpaws on the mound in the second half.

The only game they’ve lost so far in the second half? A game in which Kyle Hendricks started, going six innings and giving up only four hits and two runs, garnering a no-decision. If this is the way things are going to go for the Cubs rotation in the second half and they get back Hamels, it’s going to be a fun second half… if the pen can hold leads.