CHICAGO — Dwelling. Lastly.
The Chicago Cubs ended their longest street journey to start out a season since 1899 on a profitable be aware, as they took three of 4 from the Milwaukee Brewers, bettering to 5-Four general earlier than even laying eyes on revamped Wrigley Subject.
“We need to get some stability about us,” supervisor Joe Maddon mentioned Sunday after the Cubs’ Three-Zero win. “It’s been a nomadic existence for a while.”
Think about: The Cubs flew by way of three time zones from spring coaching in Arizona to Fort Myers, Florida, the place they performed two exhibition video games in opposition to the Boston Pink Sox. Then got here 4 video games to open the season in Miami, together with a 17-inning affair. A rain delay in Cincinnati final Tuesday become a rainout earlier than the Cubs completed their cross-country trek in Milwaukee. Subsequent they’ll be greeted by 30-degree temperatures and new dugouts on Monday, once they’ll be the final group in baseball to play a house sport.
“It feels like it’s been a long time since spring training,” Ben Zobrist mentioned. “Even though it will be cold, there will be a lot of people excited for that at Wrigley.”
The followers can get excited as a result of the Cubs began to appear to be themselves in Milwaukee. As unusual because it sounds, taking part in unfamiliar competitors — such because the depleted Miami Marlins — threw the Cubs for a loop. Chicago’s at-bats regarded dangerous, and the primary time by way of the beginning rotation left rather a lot to be desired.
However then got here back-to-back performances by comparatively new additions Yu Darvish and Jose Quintana on Saturday and Sunday. They have been implausible, totaling 12 innings whereas yielding only one run. In actual fact, Quintana has thrown 28 innings in Miller Park in his profession and has given up simply three runs.
“I don’t know,” Quintana mentioned. “I’m lucky? I just try to do my job. All my stuff was good.”
Tyler Chatwood will begin the house opener on Monday, vowing to get his teammates again to the dugout rapidly, figuring out how chilly they’ll be standing behind him. Chatwood already had one begin in chilly climate — Monday in Cincinnati — however he is aware of the wind chills at Wrigley Subject will be bitterly chilly.
“No short sleeves for me,” Chatwood mentioned with amusing. “I’ll wear long ones like I did in Cincinnati.”
On the plate, the Cubs have been a blended bag on the street. In largely good hitting circumstances, they didn’t all the time take benefit, particularly in getting males dwelling from third base. This isn’t a first-week drawback; it has been a three-year subject.
“The only thing we didn’t do well is hit in situations sometimes,” Maddon mentioned.
The Cubs rank final within the early getting into scoring runners from third with fewer than two outs, however they’ve had the second-most alternatives. They’re hoping to money in on these conditions ultimately.
“We know we’re a good hitting team,” Kris Bryant mentioned over the weekend. “We’re just feeling things out still.”
A minimum of the Cubs have already knocked 9 street video games off their schedule. Plus, the poor hitting circumstances sure to bother them at dwelling would be the identical for each groups. The distinction is the Cubs lastly get their rabid fan base behind them at Wrigley Subject, which is in 12 months Four of a five-year makeover. New dugouts and a brand new batting cage are simply a few enhancements that can greet the gamers.
“Just thinking about Wrigley Field makes me feel way better than going away [on the road],” catcher Willson Contreras mentioned.
Don’t count on first baseman Anthony Rizzo (again tightness) to swimsuit up within the frigid circumstances on Monday, however the Cubs survived the previous three days with out him and have loads of depth. The problem is solely to remain heat, whoever is on the sphere.
“Yeah, layer up for warm-ups, but once the game starts, we’re running around,” Chatwood mentioned. “Or at least the pitcher is active.”
The lengthy trek for the Cubs is over, and a brand new journey awaits them in Chicago. However largely, sleeping in their very own beds and ensuring the warmers work are foremost on their minds.
“It should be fun,” Bryant mentioned. “Good to be home. Nice and cold. Snow. Home opener. I wouldn’t have it any other way in Chicago. … Can’t wait.”