DENVER -- When is a rainout a good thing in baseball?
How about when your team plays 18 innings using eight pitchers to get through the evening and then travels all night only to play in hitter-friendly Coors Field? That's what was facing the Chicago Cubs until rain postponed their contest against the Rockies on Monday night.
"Whenever you're in Colorado, you're always looking, hopefully, to have some kind of a rested bullpen," manager Joe Maddon said.
He'll get his wish, though the two teams will play a split doubleheader Tuesday, potentially taxing the pitching staff again. For now, the Cubs get some needed rest. After losing to the New York Yankees5-4 in 18 innings Sunday night, the team flew overnight to Denver, arriving at their hotel around 5:15 a.m. local time.
Hail and rain began drenching Denver around 3:30 p.m., delaying the game for 1 hour, 16 minutes and then postponing it. Now the team can get a good night's rest.
"It's a war of attrition," Maddon quipped.
Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez, who finished the 18-inning marathon against the Yankees on Sunday night with injuries, were in the lineup for Monday's game.
The Cubs were swept at home by the Yankees, falling to 16-15 on the season and looking up at first place -- a rare spot for them over the last couple of years. Their starting pitching has been an issue after a historically good season last year, while the bullpen now leads the league in innings pitched after the lengthy game Sunday.
Jake Arrieta will pitch in Game 1 at 12:10 p.m. local time, while John Lackey will take the ball in Game 2 at 6:40 p.m.
Hailstorm in Denver gives Cubs much-needed rest