Cubs Continue Turnaround, Ascend To 1st In Division

The Cubs' ugly 1-6 start is a distant memory.

Bruce Levine
May 05, 2019 - 10:55 pm

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- It was as recently as the conclusion of play on April 13 that the Cubs sat alone in last place in the National League Central at 5-9, which was largely the product of an ugly 1-6 start.

What a difference a few weeks can make. At Wrigley Field on Sunday evening, the Cubs' dramatic, quick turnaround continued, as they cruised to a 13-5 win against the Cardinals to ascend to first place in the division. It was the Cubs' seventh straight win and 18th victory in their past 24 games after the 1-6 start.

So how have the Cubs performed their magic act?

"We are playing with a lot of energy," Maddon said.

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More than anything else, the Cubs' resurgence has been driven by their starting rotation. Entering Sunday, the Cubs had a 2.37 ERA in their previous 21 games dating to April 8, which represented the mark in the big leagues in that stretch.

Quintana kept the trend going by throwing six innings of two-run ball Sunday. He's 4-1 with a 3.40 ERA this season.

"This feels really great," Quintana said. "It was really good to sweep this series. We are in first place, and we need to keep going like we have the last two weeks."

At 19-12, the Cubs are off to their third-best start through 31 games in their past 20 years. Their offense has been strong too, with Sunday marking the seventh time Chicago posted 10 or more runs in a game. That's tied with Seattle and Texas for the most such occasions in baseball.

"We had a weird start to the year," said third baseman Kris Bryant, who hit a grand slam Sunday. "We all knew we had talent in here. Our pitching staff is very talented. We knew they would turn it around, and they did. They have been doing that for 20-plus games."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.