By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) We can hope Cubs catcher Willson Contreras is right, at the same time we know that baseball truths take time to reveal themselves and are often noticeable only well after the fact.
“We’re back,” Contreras said after his team popped back over .500 yet again with a sweep of the Orioles that concluded Sunday with a 12-strikeout performance by the newly acquired Jose Quintana in an 8-0 win. “We’re back to where we were last year.”
OK, then. Great. That was sure easy.
There’s nothing wrong with an important everyday player making such a declaration, certainly, and he may represent the larger attitude of the clubhouse now that a surprising trade has coincided with encouraging outcomes. But the larger sample should be equally noted, this team’s struggle to achieve escape velocity from the gravitational pull of that even number of wins and losses.
It may feel like wins beget wins sometimes, even if over 162 games good teams have losing streaks, bad teams have winning streaks and all things happen in between. It’s nice that they feel better about themselves, if you believe that can make players better than they otherwise would be.
No less a baseball presence than Vin Scully once summed this up in five words, scoffing at the concept as elegantly as ever by telling 670 The Score that “Momentum is tomorrow’s starting pitcher.”
John Lester goes tonight. Tuesday it’s John Lackey.