Along with their National League Division Series reaching a decided Game 5, the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals play Thursday for a second time in as many days. MLB installs travel days between games in a series when the host field changes, but a rainout Tuesday complicated matters.
Game 4 was postponed to Wednesday, and the Nationals staved off elimination. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Dodgers completed a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night at Chase Field. They returned to Los Angeles and await an opponent for Game 1 of the NL Championship Series, which begins Saturday.
“Of course it’s better to be in their position, of course it is, there’s no way to deny that,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said after Game 4 was rained out. “But you’re dealt the hand, you play it, and you go on from there. Either way, man, I just want us to get there.”
Fortunes were reversed last October, as it was the Cubs who awaited the winner of an NLDS matchup between the Dodgers and Nationals. Los Angeles won a dramatic Game 5 at Nationals Park, and began the NLCS at Wrigley Field two days later.
Maddon can see the benefit of being in either position. “You have to play right up until the very end and then you’re going to have an advantage because your team is kind of like into it,” he said. “But then again, when you get a chance to rest and set things up, that’s always good, also.
“I don’t know. Both these teams, between us and Washington, I think whoever wins this series, we’ll be ready for that moment. I don’t think we’re going to — neither one will be concerned about that; you’ll just be happy to get there, actually.”