By: Alex Patt
Going into the all star break did not feel good, losing the last two to the Pirates and falling 5.5 back of first place Milwaukee. The all star festivities came and went and the last two days of the break seemed to just be “hold out and we will start again” days. Then, Theo made the Quintana move and Cubs nation was buzzing again. Following the break it was off to Baltimore to play the Orioles.
The Cubs have just completed a three-game sweep of the O’s in Baltimore as the team pounded out 27 runs on 41 hits in those three games. Willson Contreras batted .615 in the series and drove in four in the cleanup spot. Kris Bryant batted .429 with a big two-run homer in the finale and Anthony Rizzo hit two homers in the series. Addison Russell had the game-winning homer in the series opener as they won 9-8, he batted .333 in the series. All in all a great offensive performance from the Cubs in the series.
As for pitching, it was rough the first night. The Cubs let an 8-0 lead slip to an 8-8 tie before winning 9-8. Montgomery and Grimm were responsible for the first six runs and Koji Uehara, who has been good overall this year, surrendered a two-run game tying home run to Mark Trumbo in the 8th inning. Then things got better the next night with Jake Arrieta who went 6 2/3 giving up two runs, one earned, in a game he only struck out three but got a lot of weak groundball outs.
Biggest story? The finale which was Jose Quintana’s debut. Sporting the alternate blue jerseys, Quintana absolutely mowed down the Orioles in seven shutout innings only giving up three hits, no walks and struck out 12 batters. A mastery performance that was complimented by eight runs of support and very little stress.
Cubs will head to Atlanta to play in their new ballpark for the first time.