(CBS) It will be nearly all hands on deck for the Cubs in a win-or-go-head Game 5 against the Nationals on Thursday night.
With the National League Division Series evened 2-2 after Washington’s 5-0 win at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, Chicago left-hander Jose Quintana will be available out of the bullpen to piggyback starter Kyle Hendricks if needed, manager Joe Maddon said.
It’s an approach the Cubs utilized in their Game 4 loss, with left-hander Jon Lester relieving starter Jake Arrieta, who allowed one run in four innings but walked five and “was not as sharp as he can be,” as Maddon put it. Lester came in with the Cubs trailing 1-0 and threw 3 2/3 innings of one-run ball.
“Obviously starting Kyle, then Quintana will play the role of Jonny Lester tomorrow if it’s necessary,” Maddon said postgame Wednesday. “We talked about that pregame, if it was in fact really close, which it was. That was a good spot for Lester tonight, and then tomorrow, everybody’s available tomorrow. It will start with Kyle, and Q’s ready tomorrow to back up like Jonny did tonight. Then the entire bullpen will be fine tomorrow.”
Hendricks will get the Game 5 start for the Cubs six days after he fired a gem in a Game 1, in which he threw seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball.
As for the Nationals, they’re unsure of who they’ll start, manager Dusty Baker said. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez or right-hander Tanner Roark are the candidates, he said. Ace right-hander Max Scherzer is expected to be available in relief after throwing 6 1/3 innings in a loss in Game 3 on Monday.
“Whoever it is, I hope they pitch like Stras,” Baker said in reference to Stephen Strasburg’s seven scoreless innings Wednesday.
After Lester left in the eighth inning Wednesday, Carl Edwards Jr. walked two Nationals, so Maddon turned to star closer Wade Davis, who allowed a grand slam.
Maddon shot down the notion that closer Wade Davis wasn’t warmed up after the eighth inning deteriorated quickly.
“Once it got to the point where it looked like C.J. was missing the plate a lot, we got him ready,” Maddon said. “We would not have put him in the game had he not said he was ready. The phone rang. He said he was ready. We put him in the game.”