(CBS) The Cubs’ playoff rotation remains a mystery, in part because they haven’t yet clinched the NL Central and in part because ace left-hander Jon Lester has had some September struggles.
But manager Joe Maddon will reveal this much: He’s got the utmost confidence in Lester finding his form, as he did in a 10-2 win against the Cardinals on Monday night, when he threw six innings of one-run ball. Lester is 12-8 with a 4.46 ERA and 1.34 WHIP on the season, with a 4.94 ERA in September after a stint on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue.
“Just got to see good health,” Maddon said of Lester on the Spiegel and Parkins Show on 670 The Score on Tuesday. “I think we saw that the last three times out. Last night’s game, he got better in the fifth and sixth inning. He’s done that several times this year, more recently, where he’s gotten better in the latter part of the game. Listen, I have no idea yet what we’re going to do. We have to win one more game (ton clinch the division), and then we’ll set it up. Jon Lester is a proven commodity, man, so I’m not worried about him.”
Maddon also expressed confidence in starting left-hander Jose Quintana at home or on the road come playoff time. The game location won’t play a factor in when the Cubs plan to use Quintana, he said. Quintana is 7-3 with 3.50 ERA and 1.09 WHIP since being acquired from the White Sox in mid-July.
“It’s probably going to be more set up based on the other team and what we perceive to be who’s pitching best for us in the moment,” Maddon said, speaking of the rotation generally. “There are different ways to match up. I have faith in Jose in both places. I have no issues with anything. I think he’s officially a Cub now. He firmly feels accepted and he feels much more comfortable in his Cubs skin. I have no issues with him pitching at Wrigley or anywhere else.”