Cubs trying to stay in the moment amid uncertain second halfRussell Dorseyon July 19, 2021 at 12:30 am

PHOENIX – No one really knows what the Cubs will look like in a few weeks or what will be left of the team’s current roster after the trade deadline. But the message the team is carrying into the second half until something happens is to stay in the moment.

Following what was a rough end to their first half, the Cubs came out and took two of three games from the DBacks. While they can’t turn their season around in one series, finding something to build off of going into another division series against the Cardinals is a start.

“I think these guys are in the right frame of mind,” manager David Ross said after Sunday’s 6-4 loss. “The things they’re doing. The energy they’re bringing. The way they’ve gone about their business. From the workout all the way through this series. It’s been positive.

“Good at-bats. I hadn’t seen anybody not focused, not giving effort. Not giving anything away, to be honest with you. I [think] these guys are really excited about the second half and the potential of trying to try to get this thing back on track.”

The series victory against the DBacks was their first since June 11-13 against the Cardinals. Their 11-game losing streak put them into a deep hole in the NL Central race, but just like they didn’t fall to third place overnight, getting back in the race won’t happen overnight either.

“We really needed that reset at the All-Star break,” first baseman Anthony Rizzo said Friday. “Just the message of going 1-0. It’s so cliche and it’s so easy to say, but it’s hard to do. And I think we can just embrace winning today and win the day and enjoy it.

“If you lose, you just come out the next day and just try to win that day. Try to do the best you can do take that mentality, especially for these next two weeks with all the stories are gonna be flying.”

It’s no secret the Cubs’ clubhouse could look different over the next two weeks as the end of their first half dramatically changed the course of their season. While that could distract a team with as many veteran players as the Cubs could have on the move, their approach to their second half also applies to the coming trade deadline.

“It’s definitely all mental,” starter Kyle Hendricks said. “You just have to keep reminding yourself, we’re gonna be playing baseball no matter what and [trades] happen all the time. Guys come and go. It’s unfortunate, it’s part of the game, you get close with guys, and they leave. But everyone that enters his clubhouse is a part of the family. Whoever we have at the moment. And so that’s what we focus on, we focus on what we have now.”

“We also have to understand that this is a business,” catcher Willson Contreras said. “I know that those decisions, we can’t control, but we got to keep looking forward. And we just have to find a way to keep playing better baseball more than anything else.”

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