Postponed series opener allows Cubs to rest

Split doubleheader set for Tuesday; first game at 1:10 p.m. CT

Postponed series opener allows Cubs to rest

DENVER -- The Cubs arrived in Denver around 5 a.m. local time after their 18-inning Sunday night marathon loss to the Yankees. After a few hours of sleep, the early risers got to Coors Field in time to see the field pummeled by hail, which blanketed the field and didn't disappear until the grounds crew shoveled it off hours later.

Ultimately, the Cubs spent an extra four hours or more at Coors Field before the game was finally postponed at 8:56 p.m. CT after a 1-hour, 16-minute rain delay. The game will be made up Tuesday at 1:10 p.m. CT as part of a day-night doubleheader.

"It's just part of the grind of everyone's got to stay strong and ready to go," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said of the double whammy of a long, late game followed by travel into a weather-delay-turned-doubleheader. "You just have to grind through it. We have off-days coming up. Whatever the weather is, we got to be ready to play. We're here to win ballgames."

The Cubs should welcome the postponement. They used eight pitchers Sunday night, and after starter Brett Anderson's lasted one-third of an inning Saturday night, the bullpen had pitched 19 2/3 innings over the past two days. Jason Heyward injured his knuckle Friday, missed two games since, and was placed on the disabled list with a strained right finger.

With a postponement, the Cubs can rest their 'pen and essentially start Tuesday at full strength. Given Coors Field's propensity for high-scoring games, it helps to have a healthy pitching staff to start the series.

"When you go to Colorado, you're always looking to have some kind of a rested bullpen," manager Joe Maddon said earlier Monday. "You have to stay with your starters a little bit longer here. It can happen to the other side, too. It's just a war of attrition at that point. No question you'd rather come into it with rested guys."

The rest of the roster can get some sleep after their epic game and travel Sunday night and Monday morning. And rather than play with a depleted and exhausted roster on Monday, the Cubs can play with a well-rested club aided by a 26th man added to the roster for the doubleheader.

The identity of the extra man has yet to be announced, though the Cubs recalled right-handed pitcher Dylan Floro from Triple-A Iowa when they placed Heyward on the DL.

Maddon did announce his rotation would remain in place, with Jake Arrieta pitching the day game and John Lackey pitching Tuesday night, as scheduled. However, the Cubs were using upcoming off-days Thursday and Monday to get by with a four-man rotation, and with Arrieta pitching Tuesday instead of Monday, they'll need a fifth starter Saturday to avoid pitching Arrieta on short rest.

"Everybody goes through it," Maddon said of their challenges they faced Monday. "I really don't want us to be that group that makes excuses. Our guys are really good about all of this stuff. It's part of the game. Right now, we've played well enough to be honored to be put on [television] Sunday nights. It is an honor."

According to official information from the Rockies, separate tickets will be required for each game Tuesday. Parking lots will open at 9:30 a.m. and gates will open at 10:30. Tickets from the May 8 game are valid for the May 9, 12:10 p.m. game only. Exchanges for the May 8 game can be made for any game the rest of the regular season, value for value, best available seating, but exchanges must be made by May 31. Limits may apply.

The club says complimentary tickets have a value of zero dollars and therefore may not be exchanged. Discounted tickets may be exchanged only for the price paid to the Rockies and are subject to constraints applicable to the original sale. There are no cash refunds. Ticket exchanges will be accepted at the Coors Field Ticket Office and all Rockies Dugout Stores.

Tickets purchased via StubHub for the May 8 game are valid for the May 9, 12:10 p.m. game only. StubHub customers that can't attend the rescheduled game should contact customer service at StubHub. Also, StubHub tickets are not valid for exchange at Coors Field or the Rockies Dugout Stores.

Call 303-ROCKIES with questions.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.