"I think the real surge in the second half really is going to lie within some offense here where we're using the whole field, getting better situationally", Maddon said.
Chicago is 7-0 in their last 7 interleague games against a team with a losing record and 3-9 in their last 12 games against the AL East while the over is 5-0 in their last 5 interleague games.
"We've thought of some, [what] a lot of people would consider some unorthodox stuff, as everybody else in baseball has", Showalter said.
The Cubs dropped two out of three to the Pirates over the weekend, including Sunday's game by a score of 14-3. So, operating on the theory that things can't possibly get any worse, the Orioles fully expect to bounce back in the second half. Willson Contreras, meanwhile, turned in an all-around outstanding effort.
Is it too soon to say the Cubs won the Jose Quintana trade?
Then the last week of the first half happened.
They were supposed to pocket a few wins, then come back after the All-Star break ready to take over the division. This was the 10th time in his career, and third this season, he fanned at least 10. The slugger has been traded before so he is no stranger to the rumors and his club has been selling off veteran pieces however he does not seem to be able to reel in the haul they have received thus far. He has not pitched past the fifth inning in four of his past five starts.
Anthony Rizzo added a solo homer in the eighth - the team's eighth in the first two games - as the Cubs finished with 16 hits.
At Cincinnati, Daniel Murphy hit two of Washington's five home runs and had five RBIs.
That took what many assessed as the top target off the market. "I just want to help this team and do my job". Bryant also drew a walk in the contest and scored a pair of runs. Even if some of those players were struggling when they went down, the team was missing a lot without Ben Zobrist (wrist), Jason Heyward (hand), Kyle Hendricks (finger) and the good Schwarber (minors). And, to get it done, they turn to recently-acquired left-hander Jose Quintana. Sure, the O's pitching isn't exactly an impressive bunch, but all the signs are positive for the reigning World Series champs.
Marlins pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki was hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance in the fifth.
But he ended that - and gave the Orioles their first hit of the day - by hacking at the first pitch of the fourth inning and pulling it into the left-field corner for a ground-rule double.
The left-hander is 4-1 with a 3.46 career ERA versus the Cubs. He struck out eight, walked three and had his third straight quality start. Warwick Saupold (2-1) got the victory with a scoreless 11th. In his last start of the first half, Miley allowed one run off eight hits against the Twins. Chicago has lost four in a row. Saturday, Arietta cruised through 6 1/3 innings while the bats stayed hot and scored 10 runs.
As for Jimenez, he has been inconsistent throughout the season.
According to CSN Chicago's Christopher Kamka, Quintana became the first lefthanded pitcher in history to start games for both the Cubs and the White Sox in the same season.