CHICAGO – By no means has the club lit the world on fire since the beginning of the second half on July 22nd, but they’ve have held the own despite being out of playoff consideration for several months.

The Cubs have continued to play competitively despite their standing and a roster full of a number of young players. This past week was perfect example of that as they played a bit of a spolier’s role at Citi Field.

As the Mets continue to fight with the Braves for the National League East division title, the Cubs went in and swept them away with both consistent starting pitching and hitting. They scored at least four runs per contest and their starters never allowed more than two earned runs in any of the games.

Believe it or not, that actually puts the Cubs over .500 since the All-Star Break.

Starting on July 22nd, the Cubs are sporting a 26-25 record, which comes after the club finished with a 36-57 mark during the first. While the team didn’t have any massive trades at the deadline, they still sent away a few key relievers that figured to hurt their on-field success.

While they’ve been far from perfect, the fact they’re playing .500 baseball over the last two months wasn’t something that many expected. It’s a testament to manager David Ross and the players themselves for maintaining focus despite the fact postseson hopes dissapeared early in the summer.

Starting pitching has helped the cause with the club’s 3.08 ERA in the second half, which is only behind the Dodgers and the Astros who are both playoff-bound.

There are 19 games remaining in the season with official playoff elmination not far away, and could happen this weekend when the Cubs host the Rockies for a three-game series. At the very least, fans at the Friendly Confines will see a team that has continued to play hard – and over .500 – in the second half.