PHILADELPHIA – When Thursday’s rainout against the Phillies bumped Cubs ace Jake Arrieta to Friday, it had a ripple effect in the rotation that is expected to lead to a few more tweaks to realign Arrieta for an Oct. 7 wild-card date with the Pirates.
The immediate result: Arrieta (18-6) pitches the first game of Friday’s rain-caused doubleheader against the Phillies, at 4:05 p.m., with Kyle Hendricks taking his scheduled turn in the nightcap.
Because Arrieta moves off Tuesday’s doubleheader in Pittsburgh, to Wednesday, Jason Hammel is likely to be pushed back from Sunday’s scheduled start in Philadelphia, into Arrieta’s slot in the opener of the Pittsburgh doubleheader.
Manager Joe Maddon said the Cubs might consider Sunday’s start a “bullpen” day, just ahead of Monday’s scheduled off day.
“We had all kinds of stuff going on during the potential rainout,” Maddon said.
Looking toward the playoff picture, the Cubs have one remaining off day after Monday to use, if necessary to manipulate the rotation into the order they want heading into the postseason.