Chicago Cubs kick off daunting stretch of 23 games in 23 days

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

They say baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. The Chicago Cubs will definitely understand the literal meaning of that over the next three weeks of play.

It’s hard to suggest the next three-plus weeks won’t determine the National League Central. The Chicago Cubs run off 23 consecutive days without an off-day, as they begin a whirlwind portion of the schedule that’s tilted even more against them because of early season rainouts.

To kick things off, Joe Maddon‘s club heads to Detroit for a brief two-game set against the lowly Tigers. Make no mistake. These are the series you need to win during such a stretch. Really, you should win these matchups no matter what the schedule looks like. Detroit isn’t a good club – and the Cubs need get off on the right foot and capitalize.

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In order to do so, they’ll need to score some runs. That may sound simple, but it’s proven to be anything but over the last few weeks. Chicago has not scored more than four runs in a full two weeks – including scoring lone runs in all four games of last weekend’s series in Pittsburgh.

Thankfully, Cole Hamels and Jon Lester put the team on their backs, helping the Cubs earn a split in the Steel City. One can hardly call it a deserved split, but we’ll take it all the same.

Once the Cubs finish this quick trip to the Motor City, they return home to take on the Cincinnati Reds. On the season, Chicago is 5-7 against the Reds – so they’ll need to do better than that if they want to really pick up a full head of steam for the first time in 2018.

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What’s Next

Chicago and Detroit open their two-game set on Tuesday night at Comerica Park. Kyle Hendricks takes the ball opposite right-hander Jordan Zimmermann. The game kicks off at 6:10 p.m. CT.