Cubs Manager Excited for Home Opener at Wrigley Field

Cubs manager Craig Counsell stepped into the Cubs’ offices on Monday, finding himself wishing the walk across the street in front of Wrigley Field had lasted longer. As the Cubs beat the Rockies 5-0 in their home opener, Counsell expressed his excitement about walking into Wrigley Field every day.

Wearing Cubbie blue in front of a partially frozen crowd of about 40,000 for the first time, Counsell shared his nervousness about finding his way around the ballpark. He jogged out of the dugout in pinstripes during pregame festivities, experiencing a moment of surprise as pyrotechnics shot up beside the blue carpet that led onto the field.

The starting lineup featured two players taking part in a game at Wrigley Field for the first time. Left-hander Shota Imanaga pitched in his first MLB game, and rookie Michael Busch started at first base.

Hours before the game, Busch stood in the left-handed batter’s box, miming his swing, putting his new-ballpark routine into practice on his new home field.

Weathering Steele’s injury, the Cubs face the challenge of mitigating the loss of left-hander Justin Steele (strained left hamstring) for at least the next month. President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer emphasized the need for a team effort to navigate the tough schedule in the coming weeks.

The Cubs listed their starter for the game following Steele’s injury as ‘‘TBD.’’ The team acknowledges that the pitchers aren’t the only ones who will shoulder extra responsibility, with left fielder Ian Happ emphasizing the importance of a solid defensive perspective to limit the other team’s opportunities.


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