I attended Sunday's Brewers-Cubs game in Milwaukee. The Cubs won, 4-2, and extended their lead in the NL Central to 2.5 games. This was my fourth Cubs game of the year (2-2) and just slightly better than the last game I attended.
That last game came three weeks before on July 9. The Cubs lost to the Pirates, 14-3. Jon Lester gave up 10 runs while only retiring two batters. At that point, the Cubs were 43-45 (run differential of 0) and 5.5 games behind Milwaukee. In my post written after the game, I said I wasn't sure if the season was salvageable.
In my opinion, the only way to turn things around is by shaking up the roster before the deadline. After 88 games, it is clear the answer is not coming from within. Trading a position player for a young starting pitcher is the right move for this season and beyond.
I guess if you write 200 posts in a season, you're bound to be right at least once. The Quintana trade—along with the four days of rest at the All-Star break—was just what this Cubs team needed. (I still would have preferred a position player over Eloy/Cease, but it was close enough) The Cubs are 13-3 since the debacle against Pittsburgh, outscoring their opponents by 36 runs. Over the same period, the Brewers are 5-11. That's a difference of eight games in the standings in three weeks. Crazy.
Some other fun notes from the game. Before the bottom of the 9th, the Brewers put the video of Adrian Beltre getting his 3,000 hit on the video board; he received a nice ovation. Throughout the game, fans were made aware that Bud Selig's Hall of Fame acceptance speech would be replayed on the board after the game. I'd say about 300 fans stuck around for it; I was not one of them. Overall, Cubs fans outnumbered Brewers fans by a 2:1 margin. That's why we call it Wrigley North.
And no, I did not see Chris Christie.