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Cubs Finish 30-Game Marathon with 18-11 Record

Due to early season rainouts, the Chicago Cubs were originally scheduled to complete a “death march” stretch of 23 late-season games scheduled in the same number of days. Thanks to epic mishandling of a rainy weekend in Washington by MLB, the stretch was extended to 30 in 30 after the final game in DC on September 9 was rescheduled for September 13. This period was a crucial test of the team’s endurance and resilience in the run towards a potential third consecutive NL Central Division title and fourth straight postseason appearance despite being hit hard by injuries, including season-ending injuries for SP Yu Darvish and RP Brandon Morrow as well as significant DL stints for INF Kris Bryant.

Some Cubs players showed a sense of humor about the issues presented by the schedule by wearing their uniform during team travel to show “game readiness.” Unofficial team captain INF Anthony Rizzo was the first, trolling MLB by wearing his full uniform and eye black on the Cubs’ plane.

Star INF Javier “El Mago” B√°ez followed by wearing his uniform on the return trip to Chicago.

And earlier this week, the 2016 World Series MVP, INF Ben Zobrist, wore his uniform on the commute from his Chicago home to Wrigley Field.

The Northsiders entered the 30-game stretch on August 21 with a 2.5 game lead in the Central Division as of that date, losing the opener of a two-game interleague series in Detroit by a final score of 2-1. However, the team split the series with an 8-2 victory on August 22 in the Cubs debut of INF Daniel Murphy, behind a star turn by “El Mago” that kicked off a season-high seven-game winning streak. The Cubs were able to extend the division lead to as many as 5.0 games as of September 2 but dropped to just 1.0 games ahead following the aforementioned rainy weekend in Washington after a sweep in the doubleheader on September 8, and a series loss in the head-to-head matchup with the second-place Milwaukee Brewers from September 10-12. The Cubs were able to regain ground with a win in the Washington makeup game on September 13, a series win against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley over the weekend of September 14-16 and a road series win in the desert versus the Arizona Diamondbacks from September 17-19. Following the 9-0 loss to Arizona that allowed the home team to salvage the series, the Cubs finished the stretch where they started, with a 2.5 game lead over Milwaukee in the Central Division.

The Cubs are finally enjoying a well-deserved day off today before the final ten games of the season, which will all take place in Chicago, to begin with the final set of the intracity “Crosstown Classic” series against the Chicago White Sox on the South Side, followed by a four-game series versus the Pittsburgh Pirates, and a weekend series against the archrival St. Louis Cardinals to close out the regular season. The Cubs’ magic number to clinch the Central Division championship is 8, with 10 games to play. Support the site by buying your tickets from SeatGeek!


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