Chicago Cubs 2016 preview: August has many challenges
The Month of August is full of new challenges and unfamiliar opponents. The Chicago Cubs hope to keep the train moving without getting derailed.
When the calendar turns to August, the Chicago Cubs will be staring down the barrel chalk full of teams they only see a few times a year. Similarly to the early season schedule, the dog days of summer will require the young Cubs to be flexible.
August begins with a quick three-game set at the Friendly Confines against a Marlins team that doesn’t present any clear threat, but should not be taken lightly given the path that follows. This is when things get interesting.
The Cubs will jump on a plane to make the first trip of two to the west coast during the month. A three-game tilt in Oakland is followed by another plane ride back to Chicago.
More from Chicago Cubs News
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
A much-needed off day hopefully will re-energize the Cubs for a tough homestand. The Los Angeles Angels make the trip to Chicago to return the favor in a two-game set. The Angels will be a great bookend to the interleague portion of the schedule.
Once Anthony Rizzo and company are done disposing of the Halos, the St. Louis Cardinals come to town in a must-win four-game series. By this point in the season, winning games against teams that could be ahead of you is crucial. On the flip side, if the Cubs are leading the NL Central, they need to protect that lead at home.
Another off day is followed by the Brewers in another, don’t-lose-to-a-garbage-team type of series. Nothing more really needs to be said about that.
The Cubs will then depart Chicago and enjoy some time in the thin, crisp air of the Rocky Mountains. Three games in Denver followed by three in San Diego and three more at Dodger Stadium, and you’ve got quite the road trip.
By this point in this article, have you noticed the challenge facing the Cubs? Every away game played in August will be pacific coast time with the exception of the three games in Denver on mountain time. For Cubs fans, August won’t be friendly to those who value their sleep.
Thankfully, the Cubs will luck out with a few late afternoon games that could offset the very late nights we are used to seeing.
For the players on this roster, they will no doubt be struggling with the constant time changes and the fatigue that could result from it. Mental toughness and focus are needed and I have no doubt Joe Maddon will have the guys ready for it. After all, this point in the season, every game is more important than the one that preceded it.
The marathon comes to a merciful end with three games at home with the Pittsburgh Pirates. August has many challenges aside from winning. With the end in sight, the Cubs hope August will be the spark that will light the path to late October.