Cubs on a Streak, Quintana and the Starters with a Great Week, and Other Bullets

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Cubs on a Streak, Quintana and the Starters with a Great Week, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Family decided to take a last minute day trip to an amusement park, so we’re on our way now. It’s pretty incredible how the cliche travel stuff with kids always comes true. “How many more minutes?” every five minutes, no matter how you best endeavor to squash that question.

  • Remember when, as a matter of context, we were looking at the Nationals’ and Dodgers’ early-season performance? Pointing out how even very good teams can post poor records in the early going, and it doesn’t mean you worry about them? Because the Cubs were doing the same-ish thing and we weren’t necessarily worried? Well, the Cubs are now four games over .500 after winning three in a row, but the Dodgers are still two games below .500 and the Nationals are five games below .500.
  • The Cubs are not yet in first place, by the way. With their win over the Cardinals last night, the Pirates moved back into first place as we near the end of April. Even in a small first-month sample, I wouldn’t have predicted that coming out of the offseason. Good for you, Pirates. Now you will lose many games.
  • Speaking of all of that, how about these division races? For all the talk in the offseason about super teams, and the boring races that lay ahead, each of the three NL divisions have FOUR teams really competing right now. It’s early, yes, but actually not that early when you consider that midseason trade planning will really begin in just a month and a half. Some of these surprisingly competitive teams could have a bad month and a half and still be around .500, and left with a tough decision about what to do in advance of the Trade Deadline. It could be fun.
  • Speaking of fun, how about Jose Quintana yesterday? He was the latest Cubs starting pitcher to spin a gem in his most recent outing, going seven scoreless, striking out seven and allowing just one walk and two hits. By game score (81), it was his best start since that complete game beauty in Milwaukee last September. Yes, Quintana has brutalized the Brewers since becoming a Cub. Murdered to death:

  • The game was also the Cubs’ fourth shutout of the Brewers … this month. Heh.
  • After that Quintana start, the Cubs’ starting pitchers now have a 4.21 ERA on the season, perfectly middle of the pack in baseball. I’ll take it! (Quintana, alone, saw his ERA drop from 7.78 to 5.74.)

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
  • The best news about yesterday’s game was the return of Kris Bryant, and his characterization of the return: he felt normal, like it was any other game.
  • Old friend Jorge Soler changed his preparation routine and his body this offseason, and it’s paying dividends for the Royals at last: the 26-year-old outfielder is hitting .296/.433/.465 (149 wRC+) on the year.
  • Oh my:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.