(CBS) To outlast the Nationals in a tense National League Division Series that went the distance, the Cubs had to use their top four starting pitchers over the course of grueling games Wednesday and Thursday.
So after a thrilling, nail-biting 9-8 win in Game 5, the Cubs weren’t sure who they’d turn to against the Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday evening. The Cubs started right-hander Jake Arrieta in Game 4 on Wednesday and then used left-hander Jon Lester for 3 2/3 innings in relief.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Best Rain Friday Night
In Game 5, right-hander Kyle Hendricks lasted four innings. Left-hander Jose Quintana came on in relief and got two outs, throwing 12 pitches.
That left a long plane ride across to country for the Cubs to decide whether to turn to Quintana or No. 5 starter John Lackey, who was on the NLDS roster but didn’t make an appearance.READ MORE: Getting Hosed: A Look At The Universe Of Chicago Water, And Its Sometimes-Sordid History, This Earth Day
“We haven’t even talked about that yet,” manager Joe Maddon said, adding Lackey is “definitely in the mix, no question.”
Quintana threw 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball in Game 3 of the NLDS before he brief scoreless relief outing. Amid a postgame celebration after Game 5, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein brought up Quintana’s name when asked who would start.MORE NEWS: Shuttered By Pandemic Last Summer, Guthrie's Tavern In Wrigleyville Has New Owner And Will Be Reopening
“We’ll talk to Q,” Epstein said. “He’s a candidate. It wasn’t much more than a side (session) today. We’ll see. If he’s feeling good, he might be a candidate. We’ll figure it out on the plane before we start drinking.”