Tonight is the sixth consecutive night game the Cubs have played on the West Coast. This seemed like a lot to me -- I lost a lot of sleep this week staying up to watch parts of them! -- so your intrepid reporter did a bit of research, aided by Mike, who has a collection of Cub media guides going back even farther than mine.
I was right. Since the NL moved to the Left Coast in 1958, the Cubs have played six (or more) consecutive night games there only four times:
In 1971, they wound up with six straight due to a rare April rainout in San Diego and a scheduled doubleheader (yes, kids, they used to actually schedule those):
July 6, twi-night DH 7, 8 at Los Angeles, and then a twi-night DH in San Diego on July 9. The Cubs swept the four in LA and got swept in SD, oddly enough.
They played eight straight night games in California in 1980, losing two of three in Los Angeles and San Diego and losing a pair in San Francisco.
And, the last time before this week that they played six straight night games in the Pacific Time Zone was July 11-16, 1983 -- three straight losses in San Diego, and then a loss, win, loss in Los Angeles.
My great thanks also to the fabulous Retrosheet site where I found a lot of this data.
This year has been much kinder to the Cubs and they can make it five of six wins in night games there with a win tonight. Darrell May was the worst pitcher on the Royals in 2004 -- and that's saying something -- and he hasn't been much better this year, allowing 41 hits and 13 walks in 32.2 innings.
This afternoon, I went to my son Mark's game, and watched as an enormous thunderstorm blew up to the west. Fortunately, the umpire saw the lightning and called the game before it even started raining. Mark's team won 7-3. May that be an omen for tonight's Cubs game.
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Discuss amongst yourselves.