New York Yankees

Cubs release 2020 schedule with some interesting changes


Cubs release 2020 schedule with some interesting changes

Mark your calendars now for March 26, 2020, when the Cubs will open up a brand new season of action in Milwaukee against the division-rival Brewers.

Major League Baseball released all the tentative schedules for next year and the Cubs will cross off both openers before the first of April — the home opener is slated for March 30 against the Pirates, so roughly a 40 percent chance of snow baseball. 

Frigid temperatures at Wrigley for early-season games aren't new, but this is the first time ever the Cubs will open a season in Milwaukee. 

The Cubs also are making some big changes with the games at Wrigley Field, as every weeknight contest before Memorial Day and after Labor Day will start at 6:40 pm now. That pushes first pitch up 25 minutes during the school year (which could also help if weather is an issue for early-season games). 

Here are some other notable games on the Cubs' 2020 schedule:

—The Cardinals' first trip to town comes April 10-12 for a three-game weekend series at Wrigley Field. Milwaukee isn't in Chicago until May 11-13 for a mid-week series. 

—The Cubs play the AL East in Interleague matchups in 2020 and that includes a visit from the Boston Red Sox to Wrigley Field in June (19-21). The Red Sox haven't played at the "Friendly Confines" since 2012.

—The Cubs also host the Tampa Bay Rays July 3-5 and have a home-and-home series with former coach Brandon Hyde and the Orioles (in Baltimore April 14-15, in Chicago June 2-3).

—The AL East tour also includes a trip to the Bronx to play the Yankees (June 26-28) and a series north of the border against the Toronto Blue Jays (Aug. 14-16). 

—The Crosstown series will once again be a four-game set, with two games at Wrigley July 20-21 and two games on the South Side (July 7-8). 

—The Cubs finish the year with 10 of their final 12 games at home, including yet another season-ending series with the Cardinals — this time at Wrigley Field Sept. 25-27. 

—The Cubs also play the Cardinals in London June 13-14 and have a pair of off-days before that series plus another one after.

—As far as off-days are concerned, the breaks seem to be spread out more evenly for the Cubs in 2020 compared to this year. The breakdown by scheduled off-days per month:

March: 1
April: 3
May: 3
June: 4
July: 3 (plus All-Star Break)
August: 3
September: 3

Here is the complete 2020 regular season Cubs schedule:

The Cubs and Cardinals are reportedly set to play in London next year


The Cubs and Cardinals are reportedly set to play in London next year

Back in February, the rumor started floating around that the Cubs and Cardinals could be one of the rivalries to head to London in 2020 for a series. 

That appears to now be a reality, as USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale reported Thursday evening:

The Yankees and Red Sox are set to play in London this summer (June 29-30).

No word yet on which team — the Cubs or Cardinals — would be the "home" team in London or who would lose a series at their home ballpark. 

It will also be interesting to see how Major League Baseball manages the schedule around the series for both teams. In the case of the Red Sox-Yankees series next month, both teams were given two days off (which would include travel) and then a two-game series on a weekend, followed by another off-day for each team. 

The All-Star Break is the following week, so it does not appear to be all that grueling on paper, but no team has had to make that journey yet, so we'll see how the Yankees and Red Sox describe the ordeal.

For the Cubs, it's a really cool and unique trip, becoming part of the second MLB series ever to play in London.

And if you're the league, what better rivalry to help market the game to Europe? Both the Cubs and Cardinals should be contenders once again next year.

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Incidental White Sox history: Joe DiMaggio’s streak


Incidental White Sox history: Joe DiMaggio’s streak

This day in 1941, the White Sox pasted the Yankees 13-1. Quite an impressive feat, considering this Yankees team would go on to finish 101-53 and win the World Series.

Lefty Eddie Smith, plucked off waivers from the Philadelphia Athletics in 1939, went the distance scattering nine hits for the White Sox. The offensive stars for the Sox included second baseman and leadoff man Bill Knickerbocker (4 for 5, HR, 3 RBI), right fielder Taffy Wright (2 for 5, HR, 4 RBI) and left fielder Myril Hoag (4 for 5, double, RBI). Eight of the 13 White Sox runs came in the 7th inning or later.

The lone run for the Bronx Bombers was a first inning RBI single by Joe DiMaggio. Nobody knew it then, but he wouldn’t play another game without a hit until July 17. It was the beginning of a 56-game hitting streak, one of MLB’s most enduring and most celebrated records. And the White Sox were part of history.

During the famous streak, DiMaggio played 12 games against the White Sox, and he had 19 hits in 45 at-bats with 7 walks and a HBP, good for a .422/.509/.689 slashline. He faced seven White Sox pitchers and collected hits off six. Only Joe Haynes managed to hold him hitless (one at-bat in relief on June 10).

DiMaggio vs White Sox pitchers during his 56-game hitting streak (May 15-July 16, 1941)

Eddie Smith: 4-for-9, 2 walks

Thornton Lee: 6-for-15, 3 walks

Johnny Rigney: 4-for-14, 2 walks

Buck Ross: 2-for-2

Ted Lyons: 2-for2

Jack Hallett: 1-for-2, HBP

Joe Haynes: 0-for-1

Overall, DiMaggio hit .408/.463/.717 with 91 hits, 15 HR, 55 RBI, 21 walks and only 5 strikeouts during his 56-game streak (it’s fun to note that Ted Williams hit .412/.540/.684 with 50 walks over the same span).

Over the same span of time (May 15- July 16, 1941), the longest hitting streak by a White Sox batter was a mere 11 games, done by both Taffy Wright and Dario Lodigiani, though Luke Appling had a 12-game hit streak that included the two games prior to the May 15 game. First baseman Joe Kuhel led the White Sox with 67 hits over the course of DiMaggio’s streak. Kuhel led the White Sox during the entire 1941 season with 12 home runs, three fewer than DiMaggio had during his 56-game streak alone.

By the way, the longest White Sox hitting streak of all-time is HALF of what DiMaggio did – that being Carlos Lee’s 28-game streak from May 13-June 15, 2004. The next longest are 27-game streaks by Luke Appling in 1936 and Albert Belle in 1997. So DiMaggio’s streak is longer than than the top two White Sox streaks combined.