Morning reports from sunny Los Angeles indicate that Jose Quintana will start Game One of the NLCS.
Quintana-Kershaw Game 1.
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) October 14, 2017
According to Joe Maddon, John Lackey and Quintana were the pitchers considered most suitable. The Cubs lefty only threw twelve pitches in the seventh inning of a Game Five NLDS win, which was about the same exertion of a bullpen in-between starts.
Quintana was sharp during his playoff debut against the Nationals, shutting out the Nationals in five and two-thirds by striking out seven batters.
Dodger batters haven’t seen much of Quintana in the past, but a few players have hit the Cubs Game One starter well. In 32 total plate appearances, Dodgers players have hit .300 and launched three homers, with most of that damage off the bats of Christ Taylor (3-3) and Logan Forsythe (5-11).
Lackey will certainly be available out of the pen to go multiple innings if Quintana can’t go deep into the game. The grizzled veteran has yet to pitch in this postseason and has probably eaten a few baseballs waiting to take the mound.
Quintana getting the nod in the first game likely sets up Jon Lester for the second game and Kyle Hendricks for Tuesday’s Game Three in Chicago, but we’ll wait to hear from the Cubs brass to see how they decide to set up the rotation.