WASHINGTON — The schedule was supposed to do the Chicago Cubs some favors down the stretch, but now it could help derail their division title hopes after a historically bad weekend of weather in the nation’s capital.
“This is a first [for him] with this intensity throughout the entire weekend, especially at this time of the year,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before Sunday’s game against the Nationals was postponed. “Normally, by this time, the weather seems to straighten out. That fall weather becomes a little bit more stable.”
It was anything but stable this weekend, as the two teams were postponed Friday after a lengthy delay, only to be delayed before and during a doubleheader on Saturday. The Cubs lost both those games. Then came another long delay Sunday before another postponement.
The Cubs will make up the season series finale with the Nationals on Thursday afternoon in Washington, sandwiched between a home game the night before and a day game at Wrigley Field on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs could adjust some start times at home to make things more manageable, according to a source.
The sequence means the Cubs will have a scheduled game for 30 straight days, through Sept. 19, though they will not have played a full nine innings in all of them. A game against the New York Mets last month was suspended, then completed the next day before the regularly scheduled game. On Friday, the Cubs and Nationals were delayed to start their contest, only to play 1.2 innings before another lengthy delay and a postponement. That led to Saturday’s delayed doubleheader. Then came Sunday’s long day at Nationals Park before yet another postponement.
Meanwhile, the second-place Milwaukee Brewers swept the San Francisco Giants in a weekend series to pull within two games of the Cubs. The teams have a huge three-game series at Wrigley Field starting Monday.
To add to the mess, a hurricane off the Atlantic coast could potentially impact the Thursday makeup game.
The Cubs lone off day left in the season is Thursday, Sept. 20, but that comes after an overnight flight home from Phoenix.