The Cubs ran out to a huge lead today, but some chip-chip-chipping away by the Padres made things mildly tense by the time the final out was recorded.
But the Cubs got that final out, and it’s a sweep to close out the first half! Combined with the Brewers’ crushing loss, that makes for a 2.5-game lead in the NL Central!
Jon Lester was solid today, but ran outta gas in the 6th inning as he approached 100 pitches, and the bullpen once again had to cover a significant stretch of the game. It has been OK here in the first half, and the Cubs do have extraordinary depth in the bullpen to spread the innings around, but still – if things keep going like this in the rotation, the key guys in the bullpen will be meat come late September. Can’t have that.
Offensively, the Cubs got a hit from every positional starter, and also some help from the Padres defense. It was a 2018 Cubs kinda day, with only two extra-base hits (doubles), and a lot of station-to-station productivity throughout the game.
Cubs win, Cubs sweep, Cubs go into the All-Star break with the best record in the National League.