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Cubs Announce Playoff Rotation, Hendricks Named NLDS Game 1 Starter

Playoff rotation Tyrone Islington Photography - Via - Flickr

MLB

Cubs Announce Playoff Rotation, Hendricks Named NLDS Game 1 Starter

Wednesday afternoon, Cubs manager Joe Maddon got down to business and announced their playoff rotation. This season, it was a bit difficult to decide as their staff would be very streaky as well as injuries became a factor. Maddon thought long and hard and sat with his staff and have come up with the Cubs playoff rotation. Maddon is going with Kyle Hendricks in Game 1 followed by Jon Lester, Jose Quintana and Jake Arrieta.

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Cubs Playoff Rotation

Kyle Hendricks will start Game 1 for the Cubs after getting not from Maddon on Wednesday. Hendricks last start in the playoffs was Game 7 of the World Series. Since returning to the team at the start of the second half off the DL, Hendricks been they most consistant starter on the Cubs and one of the best in all of of baseball. He even posted a NL-best 2.19 ERA during that span. Hendricks finished the 7-5 in 24 starts (139.2 IP) with a 3.03 ERA and 123 strikeouts.

Hendricks faced the Nats in early August but didn’t win. He tossed 7 innings, allowing 5 hits (2 home runs), 3 earned runs, and 2 walks while striking out five.

Last season, Kyle Hendricks went 1-1 during his five starts with a 1.42 ERA and limited opposing batters to .216 batting average.

Game 2

Jon Lester who was a possible starting option in Game 1 will make the start. Lester goes into the playoffs as one of the most experienced playoff starter (besides John Lackey) but isn’t taking this move as a dis. Moving Lester to Game 2 didn’t anger him but brought back memories to “when the torch was passed to me to do that.”

 “It’s a cool thing for [Hendricks]. I’m excited for him. I’m sure he’s excited to go out there on Friday and get on that stage again.” -Jon Lester

Lester started the most games this season for the Cubs, he went 13-8 with 4.33 ERA while also striking out 180. The left-hander pitched twice against this Nationals team but walked away with two no decisions and a 2.84 ERA. He does have a very impressive resume when it comes to playoff success. Jon Lester is 9-7 a with 2.63 ERA over 133.2 inning pitched. He went 3-1 with 2.02 ERA and kept opposing to a .209 during the 2016 Cubs playoff run.

Jose Quintana takes the mound for the Game 3 and the first game of the postseason at Wrigley field. The mid-season trade between the Chicago team appeared to final piece to push the Cubs over their rough start of the season. Since the Cubs acquired Quintana, he has gone 7-3 with 3.74 ERA. The 6-year veteran is looking to make the most of his first career postseason appearance. Quintana has never faced the Nationals in his career.

Game 4

If needed, Jake Arrieta will start Game 4 at Wrigley Field. Arrieta has been battling a sore right hamstring so Maddon pushed him down the rotation to give him more time to heal. Maddon admitted that Arrieta could have started an earlier game but due to the injury, he rather he focus on getting to 100 percent before taking the mound. He did not take part in Wednesday’s simulated game and instead pitched a bullpen session.

Arrieta pitched against the Nationals once this season and struggled. He took the loss after lasting only four innings, giving six hits, six runs (five runs), and whopping six walks with four strikeouts.

Final Notes

The Nationals have yet to release their rotation for the NLDS and will likely be releasing it Thursday. Nationals rotations will be a combination of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Tanner Roark.

Friday, Maddon will announce the rest of the roster for the NLDS. He still has yet to decide whether to carry 11 or 12 pitchers for this series.

The National League Division Series between Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals at National Park. Game time is set for 7:30 PM Eastern.