Cubs enjoy longer rest, rare Friday night lights

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Joc Pederson celebrates after hitting a homer in the first inning on Friday night. When the Cubs hosted Miami for the start of a three-game series, it was only the third Friday night game at Wrigley Field with fans in attendance since the lights came on in 1988.

    Joc Pederson celebrates after hitting a homer in the first inning on Friday night. When the Cubs hosted Miami for the start of a three-game series, it was only the third Friday night game at Wrigley Field with fans in attendance since the lights came on in 1988. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 6/18/2021 9:02 PM

The Cubs played a rare Friday night game at Wrigley Field, just the third with fans in attendance since the lights came on in 1988.

They played under the Friday night lights a few times last year when no fans were in the stadium. This one against Miami was changed to a night game after the original schedule was released because they had to play at night against the Mets on Thursday.

 

"That was by request," Cubs manager David Ross said before the game. "I definitely appreciate that. We got in at 3:30, 4 o'clock last night. We've been grinding it pretty hard and a day game here would have been, you wouldn't have gotten to see my lovely face (for pregame availability) because I would have told (director of media relations Jason Carr) we need to cancel.

The Cubs faced a lot of restrictions from the city about how many night games they could play and on what days. They didn't play the first Friday night game until Sept. 9, 2017 against Milwaukee. But the night game limit has gone up in recent years.

"I just ask. Just say, 'This is a lot,'" Ross said. "I don't go through the city. I don't have the mayor's number. I call our business side and Crane (Kenney) and those guys and say, 'Hey, this is a really tough turnaround, coming from New York and getting in late. Is there any way we can work something out?' And they do that.

"I'm thankful for a lot of things those guys do adjust. You look at the schedule and this one stood out today. Being a day game was going to be tough. We identified that in spring training and everybody had enough time to wrap their brains around it.

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"It just helps the players in recovery. It's really a player safety issue and how hard it is with that turnaround. I got up at 10:30, 11 o'clock today and I was really tired and I don't have to play. I think I got to my house around 3:30, so we probably landed 3ish."

The short night happened Friday, since the Cubs and Marlins will play 1:20 p.m. starts today and Sunday.

Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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