This is exactly what we expected to see but now it’s actually been confirmed. The Cubs’ playoff pitching rotation has been set for the NLDS. Jon Lester will start in game 1, Kyle Hendricks goes in game 2, Jake Arrieta will pitch game 3 and, if needed, John Lackey will take the hill for game 4. Of course, Jon Lester would be the game 5 pitcher, if necessary.
Lester, Hendricks, Arrieta, Lackey in that order . #Cubs
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) October 4, 2016
If you would have told me at the beginning of the season that the Cubs would win 103 games and Jake Arrieta was going to be the game 3 starter in the NLDS, I’m not sure I would’ve believed that. Well, it’s true. With Jon Lester winning the NL Pitcher of the Month for September yesterday (and in June) and Kyle Hendricks winning the award in August, the Cubs will have the 2015 Cy Young award winner pitching in game 3. Wow!
The next step for Joe Maddon and the Cubs is to set the NLDS roster. Keep in mind that the roster can change from series to series. This gives teams flexibility to manage around match-ups, injuries or any other changes they’d like to make. The roster isn’t officially due in until Friday. We may see it sooner but I wouldn’t expect it to come out prior to the outcome of the NL Wild Card game on Wednesday.
If you haven’t seen the playoff schedule yet you can check it out here.