Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo packed up after Sunday's 10-7 loss to the Braves and headed for the All-Star Game in Minneapolis.
It's been quite the turnaround season for both players, and each will be counted on to provide leadership roles on the Cubs, despite each being only 24 years old.
"It's not something I'm going to say, 'I'm the leader of this team' and this and that," Rizzo said. "It's something where you just come in and play every day. ... I'm not going to embrace anything. I embrace the guys on this team. I love them, and I just want to keep getting better."
Rizzo said he and his family are looking forward to the all-star festivities.
"They can't wait," he said. "I'm happy for them because they get to experience it with me and get to experience it together.
"It's going to be nice, looking forward to just a mental break and being able to relax. Obviously the All-Star Game but just being able to relax and enjoy the time off."
This will be Rizzo's first All-Star Game and Castro's third. Manager Rick Renteria said being in that setting will be good for both players.
"They're part of the elite class," Renteria said. "The experience as an all-star player, they'll always be all-star players. They're going to go out there and be with some of the best, and they've earned it. They've gone out and done everything you would want them to do in order to impress your peers, impress the game of baseball."
The Cubs will resume play Friday at Arizona after the all-star break and then come back for a big homestand.
Rick Renteria said Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood and Jake Arrieta, respectively, will pitch the three games at Arizona. The Cubs likely will turn to Class AAA Iowa to fill the final two spots in the rotation, with Dallas Beeler, Tsuyoshi Wada and Kyle Hendricks candidates to pitch again this season in the big leagues.
Close at the plate:
The Cubs scored all of their runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. They scored 2 in the eighth, but they might have had more if Starlin Castro had not been called out on a close play at the plate.
Castro tried to score from third with the bases loaded on a pitch that got away from catcher Gerald Laird, who tossed to pitcher Jordan Walden covering. Castro slid around Walden but did not touch the plate. Replay upheld the call, as the ruling came in that Walden was not illegally blocking the plate.
"I just see the ball and go," Castro said. "I go because I think I can be safe. It's a tough play. They looked at replay. That's the only thing I can ask because I didn't touch home plate. I went around it."