Cubs notes: 2018 season to open at Miami

By BRUCE MILES – bmiles@dailyherald.com Published: Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 10:19 p.m. CDT
The Cubs' Willson Contreras steals second as he beats the throw to Marlins shortstop JT Riddle during the fifth inning June 25, 2017, in Miami. The Cubs will open the 2018 season in Miami (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) — Lynne Sladky

CHICAGO – The Cubs are going to be road warriors to begin the 2018 season. Their tentative schedule for next year has them opening March 29 at Miami and playing three games against the Marlins before moving on to Cincinnati for two, April 2 and 3.

The season-opening trip will conclude with four games at Milwaukee (April 5 to 8) before the Cubs come back to Chicago for the home opener against the Pirates on April 9.

Interleague play for the Cubs features games against the American League Central, which means two series of three games each against the White Sox: May 11 to 13 at Wrigley Field and Sept. 21 to 23 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The Cubs will play home-and-home two game series against the Cleveland Indians, their opponents in last year’s World Series. They’ll play May 22 and 23 at Wrigley Field and April 24 and 25 at Progressive Field.

The Minnesota Twins come to town June 29 to July 1, with the Tigers playing at Wrigley July 3 and 4. The Cubs will play at Detroit Aug. 21 and 22 and at Kansas City Aug. 6 to 8.

Next year will be the first time the Cubs open a season at Miami since 1998, when the Marlins played in the football stadium.

The Cubs will finish the 2018 season at home against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sept. 28-30.

Times are changing: There have been two game-time changes for the series at Milwaukee next week. The Sept. 22 game has been shifted from 7:10 p.m. to 6:35 p.m. The Sept. 23 game has been moved from 6:10 p.m. to 12:05 p.m. to accommodate Fox TV.

Another step for Jake: Pitcher Jake Arrieta threw from flat ground before Tuesday night’s game against the Mets. Arrieta has not pitched since leaving his Sept. 4 start at Pittsburgh with a right-hamstring injury.

Arrieta will need to throw a bullpen session before the Cubs find a date for him to start again, so this coming weekend against St. Louis is most likely out of the question.

“In my mind’s eye, I’m just planning like he won’t,” manager Joe Maddon said.

It’s all left: The Cubs are starting three left-handed pitchers against the Mets: Jose Quintana, Jon Lester and Mike Montgomery. That’s the first time since 2014 the Cubs will use three left-handed starters in a row. That year, Felix Doubront, Tsuyoshi Wada and Travis Wood did it twice.

In fact, the Cubs have used left-handed starting pitchers in three straight games only three times in the past 30 years. Besides the two times in 2014, Rich Hill, Sean Marshall and Ted Lilly did so in August 2007.