Joe Maddon believes fatigue is the reason why the Chicago Cubs have endured a slow start to the season.

"I sense sleep deprivation more than anything," Maddon said. "Sleep deprivation has a lot to do with it. Right from the beginning of the year our schedule has been awkward. No one has had a chance to settle in."

In the span of eight days, recently, the Cubs played two Sunday night affairs followed by overnight travel plus a 13-inning and 18-inning game. The latter contest came Sunday, forcing the Cubs to land in Denver at 5 a.m. local time.

The Cubs are 17-17, 2.5 games back of first place in the National League Central.