Brian Duensing set his alarm for 5:30 a.m. Friday morning even though his flight from Iowa to Chicago wasn't for another few hours.
"There was no way I was gonna miss this one, so I made sure I got up early," Duensing said Friday in front of his locker in the Cubs clubhouse.
Duensing has actually had his name on his locker all week, even though the veteran left-handed reliever was in Triple-A rehabbing after a back injury limited his spring training work.
The Cubs activated Duensing off the disabled list Friday morning, placing pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. on the bereavement list after a death in the family.
This is actually Duensing's first time at Wrigley Field even though he's been around the big leagues since 2009, although all of his previous experience came in the American League with the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles.
Duensing got a full tour of the Cubs clubhouse from traveling secretary Vijay Tekchandani, but the southpaw joked he was still getting his bearings and didn't even know where the bathroom was.
Duensing got to know the Cubs players and coaching staff in spring training after signing a one-year, $2 million deal over the winter. When it comes to his performance on the field, he's just aiming to blend seamlessly into the background with the reigning World champs.
"I look forward to how the team's gonna do," Duensing said. "Obviously had an unbelievable year last year winning the World Series. They wanna do it again and it'd be fun to be a part of it and help out."
As for Edwards, he tossed two shutout innings in Thursday's 4-0 Cubs win so he would've been unavailable at least Friday — and possibly Saturday — anyways, but this is obviously not how anybody would want the young pitcher to get some rest.
"It's horrible," said Joe Maddon of Edwards' loss. "We all know CJ and he's such a good kid and he's absolutely being devastated by it. We just wait and see when he gets back and in the meantime, we'll just hold down the fort."