Chicago Cubs complete first half with powerful sweep of San Diego

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

As the Milwaukee Brewers dropped a sixth-straight decision, the Chicago Cubs rolled to a series sweep of the San Diego Padres to close out the first half.

Talk about getting hot at the right time. After looking up at the Milwaukee Brewers for most of the first half, the Chicago Cubs got scorching hot in July, going 9-3 to overtake the Brew Crew in the division.

That culminated in the form of a three-game series sweep heading into the All-Star Break in Washington, D.C., where the Cubs will send a trio of players to the Midsummer Classic. Both Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez will take part in the Home Run Derby on Monday night, as well. Needless to say, there’s a lot to be excited about, even with the few days off.

More from Cubbies Crib

On Sunday, Chicago road a familiar track to victory – a powerful offense and good starting pitching. Lester earned his 12th win of the year, tied for the most in the National League. As for the bats, the Cubs lead the league in hits, runs batted in, batting average and on-base percentage. Not bad for a team that sorely missed Anthony Rizzo‘s presence for much of the first half.

For now, we can kick back and enjoy life. But right out of the All-Star Break, things get interesting for Joe Maddon‘s club. Chicago welcomes the Cardinals to town for a five-game series, spanning just four days. It includes a day-night doubleheader on Saturday at Wrigley.

St. Louis, meanwhile, has their own matters to tend to. The Cardinals dismissed manager Mike Matheny over the weekend. It’s hard to imagine they wait till the winter to pick up a new skipper, but time will tell.

From the dark depths of Twitter

These and other stories you may have missed

Cubs expect Darvish to ramp up after the break – Cubbies Crib

U.S. shows might on Futures stage –

Meet your new St. Louis Cardinals skipper – Redbird Rants

Cubs wouldn’t stand pat at the deadline … right? – Cubbies Crib

Phillies could be a force in free agency – Call to the Pen

Next: Make no mistake, these Cubs are the best team in the league

What’s Next

Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber hope to slug their way to a finals matchup in the Home Run Derby at Nationals Park. The event takes place Monday night in Washington, D.C.