Winter is coming...
...and it might not be the worst thing in the world for the Cubs.
After a pair of sun-filled days at Wrigley Field to begin the series with the visiting Angels, Sunday brought frigid temperatures and a lot of precipitation — including snow.
The temperature for Sunday's 1:20 first pitch was projected to be 35 degrees — 23 degrees with windchill. Plus, the snow. That all added up to a quick postponement, as Major League Baseball made the call more than five hours before game time. No makeup date has been announced yet.
It'll represent something more akin to the weather north of The Wall instead of the North Side of Chicago in mid-April. (How fitting on the day of Game of Thrones' long-awaited premiere.)
This means the Cubs won't need a spot start from Tyler Chatwood at all before Jon Lester returns. The 35-year-old veteran tested his hamstring on the field before Friday's game and could be back sometime within the next couple weeks after going on the injured list Tuesday morning.
Chatwood was slated for the start Sunday and due to a couple more off-days in the April schedule, the Cubs wouldn't have a need for a fifth starter again until April 27.
With Sunday's game rained/snowed/wintered out, the Cubs opted to keep their rotation the same for the series in Miami beginning Monday.
Assuming there are no other changes to the rotation or schedule, the Cubs could — in theory — line their rotation up like this over the next couple weeks:
April 15 - Yu Darvish
April 16 - Jose Quintana
April 17 - Cole Hamels
April 18 - OFF
April 19 - Kyle Hendricks
April 20 - Darvish
April 21 - Quintana
April 22 - OFF
April 23 - Hamels
April 24 - Hendricks
April 25 - Darvish
April 26 - Quintana
That's a four-man rotation where everybody is on regular rest.
By the time April 27 rolls around, it will have been 18 days since Lester injured his hamstring.
With the Cubs opting to keep Chatwood out of the rotation, it gives them a nine-man bullpen for roughly three weeks as they try to improve upon their 5-9 early-season record.
However, as simple as it may make things for Maddon and Co. in April, it could lead to complications down the stretch.
The Angels do not have an opportunity to play a makeup game when they come to Chicago to play the White Sox in early September and they do not share many mutual off-days with the Cubs the rest of the season. Two such options — Aug. 26 and Sept. 23 — would not exactly be ideal choices.
If the Cubs have to fill either of those days with this makeup game, that would ensure they'd be playing a game in 39 of the final 41 days of the season — a schedule that would come close to rivaling their exhausting stretch to end 2018. (Though, it would obviously be a better draw to stay at home for one makeup game instead of having to travel to Washington, D.C. like last year's club had to do in mid-September.)
By the time the game is made up, the Angels also may have a much better lineup. If the game was played Sunday, Mike Trout was already ruled out and the Angels were also without Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton. Four or five months down the line, all three of the players may be back on the field, creating a much a much more formidable lineup.
Who knows how it will all play out and if it will wind up working out in the Cubs' favor or not, but one thing's for certain: No game Sunday means everybody gets to spend their day rewatching Game of Thrones leading up to the premiere.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Cubs easily on your device.