FanPost

Cubs on road Thursday, then at home Friday

Al Yellon's front-page post Thursday, in which he urged that the Cubs be allowed to play more night games at home, prompted a spirited debate in the comments.

One of the topics of debate was whether the Cubs should play more night games on Friday.

This has come up before, often with regard to whether the Cubs are at a competitive disadvantage when having to play on the road Thursday night and at home Friday afternoon.

..........

HUNTING THURSDAYS

I wondered how the Cubs have fared in those situations, as well as the other possible combinations of Thursday-Friday games on the road, then at home: day-day, day-night and night-night.

So I spent a couple of hours going through the Cubs' game-by-game results for each season beginning in 1962, the first year of the Expansion Era, at baseball-reference.com.

In each season, I searched for "Thursday," which highlighted all games played on that day, and checked for those that were on the road. Whenever I found one, I looked to see if their next game was on Friday and at home.

If it was, I entered into a spreadsheet the date of the Thursday game, whether it was played during the day or at night, whether the Friday game was at day or night, and whether the Cubs won or lost on Friday.

..........

NO DIFFERENCE

Over the past 60 seasons, the Cubs have played Thursday or the road and Friday at home 112 times.

They played 116 games on the Fridays, thanks to 4 doubleheaders.

They won 57 of the games and lost 59.

And they were 1 game below .500 both when playing back-to-back day games (35-36) or a night game followed by a day game (20-21).

They were 2-0 when finishing a road trip during the day, then playing at home Friday night.

They were 0-2 when playing back-to-back night games.

..........

BEFORE LIGHTS

From 1962 through 1988, the Cubs were 12-9 when both the Thursday and Friday games were in the daytime.

They were 9-11 when playing at night, then racing home to play the next afternoon.

Two of the latter sets of games came Aug. 18-19 and Sept. 29-30, 1988, after lights were installed.

..........

AFTER LIGHTS

Starting in 1989, the Cubs actually had more success when forced to play a day game at home after a night game on the road, going 11-10, than when they played day games at both sites: 23-27.

The 2 day-night and 2 night-night combinations both since 1989, making their total record in those years 36-39 in Thursday road games followed by Friday home games.

..........

MOST TIMES IN SEASON

In 2003, the Cubs faced such a schedule 5 times, more than in any other season. They won 3 games, going 2-1 in day-day pairs and 1-1 in night-day pairs.

They also won 3 such Friday games in 1979 and 2019, going 3-0 each season.

They have lost 3 such games in 6 seasons, most recently in 2014, one of 4 seasons when they were 1-3. They 2-3 in 1975 and 0-3 in 1985.

...

They have played on the road on Thursday and at home on Friday 4 times in 7 seasons, covering a wide range of years: 1962, 1988, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2014 and 2021.

In 8 seasons, they did it 3 times; in 18 seasons, twice; and in 19 seasons, once, most recently in 2020.

The last full season in which they had only 1 such schedule was 2010.

They had none in 2016, making it only the seventh season they did not do so. The others were 1965, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1980 and 1997.

..........

LONG RUN OF SUCCESS

In 2017, the Cubs did not have a Thursday-Friday/home-road combination until Sept. 7, when they played at Pittsburgh at night, then lost to the Brewers at home the next night.

Three weeks later, they lost a night game at St. Louis, then beat the Reds at home the following afternoon.

That began a run of 8 consecutive victories when playing on the road Thursday and at home Friday. The final win was on May 28, 2021, when the Cubs followed up a daytime game at Pittsburgh with a win over the Reds.

...

The streak came to an end on June 17, when they played at New York on Thursday night, then lost at home to the Marlins on Friday night.

The Cubs beat the Diamondbacks on the afternoon of July 23, after having played the night before at St. Louis.

On Aug. 5, they lost a day game at Colorado, then lost at home to the White Sox the next day.

..........

OTHER FRIDAY STREAKS

The Cubs' second-longest winning streak on Fridays at home after Thursday games on the road was 5 games, in 1979-82. They won 4 in a row in 1986-88.

They lost 7 straight such games in 1988-90 and 4 straight twice, in 1985-86 and 2013-14.

From April 28, 1994 through June 24, 1999, the Cubs were 7-7 at home on Friday after playing on the road the previous day, and never won or lost more than 2 consecutive Friday games.


FanPosts are written by readers of Bleed Cubbie Blue, and as such do not reflect the views of SB Nation or Vox Media, nor is the content endorsed by SB Nation, Vox Media or Al Yellon, managing editor of Bleed Cubbie Blue or reviewed prior to posting.