The Cubs opened the second half with a 15-2 win over the Phillies.

PHILADELPHIA – The Cubs didn’t come out of the All-Star break Friday looking like a group whose days together are numbered. A game of hacky sack broke out between the pitchers in the clubhouse. Teammates exchanged stories of their time together. And the Cubs beat the Phillies 15-2.

In fact, the Aug. 2 trade deadline threatens to shake up the roster after a 35-57 first half. But the way manager David Ross sees it, talking about potential trades before they happen isn’t much good.

“There are all kinds of rumors and speculations, but nobody really knows,” Ross said. “To go down that path. I just think it’s unhealthy. … If they have questions, they come to my office, obviously, I address them the best way I can. But I As learned last year, starting to talk through these scenarios doesn’t work very well.

The Cubs’ opponent was reminiscent of the old regime. Kyle Schwarber, who spent his entire career with the Cubs before being non-tendered in December 2020, hit a solo homer to drive in the first run of the game. Nick Castellanos, who became a fan favorite in his half season with the Cubs in 2019, roamed right field.

Now, it’s been two years since the trade deadline meant a midseason boost for fans from additions like Castellanos. And Schwarber’s departure was a precursor to the next season’s massive selloff.

Ross, taking his own advice, said he realized last year that he didn’t want too many updates from president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer as he worked through trade scenarios.

“My main goal is to try to win baseball games,” Ross said. “I don’t want it to be affected. I don’t want it to affect my personality, I have some knowledge. So, that pretty much keeps me out of the loop.

“We can communicate every once in a while. But judging from last year, any player’s communication can change four or five different times.

None of the reminders of the looming deadline weighed on the kids at Citizens Bank Park. Many of them hadn’t even played with Schwarber or Castellanos — that’s how much turnover the team has experienced over the past two years.

After Schwarber put the Phillies ahead, Cubs starting pitcher Justin Steele worked out of a third-inning jam to keep his team’s deficit at one run. Catcher Wilson Contreras, who has been a model compartmentalizer as speculation about his future with the Cubs swirled all year, responded with a solo homer of his own in the fourth to tie the game.

“He’s very caught up in the moment and trying to be the best player for his team, as he gives it a lot of times,” Ross said, “and I think that’s a It’s a powerful powerful message that he sends and also a very good mindset that he’s in.”

The Cubs took control of the game with a fifth-inning rally. Alfonso Rivas drew a leadoff walk, and Christopher Morrell sent him home racing with a double to left field.

Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins sliced ​​the throw home in an attempt to catch Morrell from second base. But his errant throw went just out of Matt Wierling’s reach and into center field. Morel scored.

The Cubs then took a 7-1 lead on a walk by Contreras, singles by Seiya Suzuki and Ian Happ, and doubles by Nico Horner and Patrick Wisdom.

Nelson Velázquez, with his first career multi-homer game, Happ, with another RBI single, and Suzuki, with a home run, rounded out the Cubs’ offensive efforts in the late innings. Happ and Suzuki led the team with four hits apiece, Happ setting a career high and Suzuki setting a personal best.

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