Chicago Cubs: Wet weather wreaking havoc on the team’s schedule

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) /

How will the wet start to the 2018 season impact the Chicago Cubs? Multiple postponements and rescheduled games could prove costly by season’s end.

The 2018 Major League Baseball season is off to the wettest start in my memory.  The Chicago Cubs are already in the hole after multiple rainouts in April. And more make-up games are not only possible – but likely -in coming days.  How will all this rain impact the Cubs later in the year?

My dad played Double-A ball for the then Nashville Volunteers in the Cubs farm system.  As a member of a team in the Southern League, he rode the buses through Dixie, which must have been quite the experience for a young man from East Chicago, Indiana.

Along the way, he picked up a lot of amusing southern sayings that he used later in life, and one was, “Do you think the rain will hurt the rhubarb?”  As a young kid from the Chicago suburbs, I had no idea what that meant.  And of course, we didn’t have the Internet to look up that kind of thing on Google.

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It was, he told me, a charming way of complaining about the rain.  Rhubarb loves rain.  Baseball, on the other hand, does not.

And baseball is really hating on the rain this year.  The Cubs are already behind in the schedule because of rainouts. The finale in Atlanta was postponed and the team heads into Saturday playing a day-night doubleheader. Why? Because of an earlier postponement. And, lo and behold, there’s wet weather in the forecast.

Better bolster that bullpen, Theo.

The consequences of all these rainouts and postponements will be felt later in the season.  MLB has already booked games in August and September when off days were previously scheduled.  In fact, the Cubs will play, as things stand right now, 24 games with just two days off in late August and early September, including a doubleheader with St. Louis at home.

September call-ups might reduce some of the weight of that heavy schedule.  But if the rain continues to drive up postponements then even those two days of rest could be drowned out.  The impact  of all those games in quick succession I would expect will fall first and heaviest on the bullpen.

Will  Jon Lester ever pitch on a dry field again this year?

It seems like when it’s Lester’s turn on the bump, it rains. His last four starts were either seriously delayed by rain. On May 6, he pitched in a twice-delayed game against St. Louis. On May 12 against the White Sox, he waited out an early delay at Wrigley. And last, but certainly not least, he took the mound at a waterlogged Great American Ballpark on May 18.

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In the movie Major League, Pedro Cerrano had Jobu to help him hit the curveball. Lester may want to find his Jobu to aid in stopping the rain on days when he starts.  In fact, we may all want to appeal to whatever higher power we can to stop this rain.