7/1 First half
Sunday’s game was the Cubs’ last at home before the All-Star break.
“I think things are falling into place as far as the bullpen goes,” Dale Sveum said when asked to assess the first half. “It’s more stable than it ever has been. The lineup will be more stable than it has been. The addition of [Anthony] Rizzo, another power bat, left-handed, obviously makes a difference and it already has. He’s had two game-winning hits in the four games he’s been here. You look back on the first half and basically the difference is so many one-run ballgames where we didn’t score runs or get that one extra run to win it or tie it or a home run, things like that. Those things should be a little better going into the second half and win more of those games.”
One of the more puzzling elements has been the Cubs’ struggles against left-handed pitching.
“For whatever reason, we haven’t done much against left-handed pitching and that’s been the biggest hole in our offense, which should’ve been a strength going into the season,” Sveum said.
The Cubs finish the first half with four games in Atlanta and three in New York.
– Carrie Muskat