Elias Says: July 14, 2017

Chicago’s clubs complete blockbuster trade

Jose Quintana was on the move Thursday, though his new home park was just a 20-minute ride away on the Red Line. The White Sox traded Quintana to the Cubs, with the North Siders sending back four players including top prospect Eloy Jimenez. Entering this season, only two pitchers started a game for both the Cubs and the White Sox in a single season. In 1970, Bob Miller started 12 games for the White Sox and one for the Cubs. And in 1977, Steve Renko made eight starts for both the Cubs and White Sox. Renko, who went 2–2 for the Cubs and 5–0 for the White Sox that year, is also one of two pitchers to register a win for both Chicago clubs in a season. Matt Karchner notched two wins for the White Sox and three for the Cubs – all in relief – in the 1998 season.

Quintana went 50–54 in six seasons with the White Sox, though he suffered from a dearth of run support in many of those losses. The South Siders scored two or fewer runs in 40 of Quintana’s 54 losses, including 10 shutout losses and 20 defeats after scoring just one run. Quintana’s 25 losses when producing a quality start – that is, pitching at least six innings with no more than three earned runs allowed – are the most by any pitcher since the start of the 2012 season.

Top MLB teams ready to resume play

The Dodgers and Astros reside in the top spots of their respective leagues entering play on Friday. Los Angeles owns the best record in the majors at 61–29, while Houston, at 60–29, holds a 16.5-game lead in the AL West, the largest divisional lead of any team currently in first place. No team in the wild-card era has failed to qualify for the postseason after winning at least 60 of their first 90 decisions of a season. The last team to fall short of the postseason after such a start was the 1993 Giants, who started the season 60–30 and finished 103–59, one game behind the Braves in the NL West.

The Dodgers and Astros are two of five teams that did not suffer a losing streak of four or more games before the All-Star break, along with the Diamondbacks, Indians, and Red Sox. It has been 60 years since the last time multiple teams finished a season with no four-game losing streaks. In 1957, the Milwaukee Braves and the New York Yankees, who opposed each other in that year’s World Series, both finished the regular season with no losing streaks of four or more games.

Nuggets officially welcome Millsap

The Denver Nuggets announced the signing of Paul Millsap to a three-year contract on Thursday. Millsap, who was the 47th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, has scored 11,890 points in 11 seasons with the Jazz and Hawks. That’s the third-highest points total among players that were active last season and were not first-round draft picks. Monta Ellis (drafted 40th in 2005) has scored 14,858 points in 12 NBA seasons, and Manu Ginobili (picked 57th in 1999) has totaled 13,467 points in 15 seasons with the Spurs.

Millsap averaged 17.4 points and 8.3 rebounds in four seasons with the Hawks, and he earned an All-Star berth in each season with Atlanta. The only other player in the last 20 years that was named to at least four All-Star teams after not being selected in the first round of the NBA Draft was Ben Wallace, who was undrafted but still played in four straight All-Star games from 2003 to 2006.