#Cubs Lester could start Game 1 NLCS

Jon Lester lobbied to start Game 4 of the NL Division Series on Tuesday over Jason Hammel, and the left-hander appears to be in line for Game 1 of the NL Championship Series. During an interview Wednesday on ESPN 1000 radio in Chicago, Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio projected the left-hander as the Game 1 starter versus either the Mets or Dodgers, who will play Game 5 of their NLDS on Thursday.

“Right now, it’s probably going to be Jon because it’s his turn,” Bosio said. “The way it’s laid out is probably how it’s going to be.”

If the Cardinals had forced a Game 5 of the NLDS on Thursday, then Lester would have started, but the Cubs ended the series with a 6-4 win Tuesday at Wrigley Field. Jake Arrieta, who threw a complete game shutout in the Wild Card victory over the Pirates but wasn’t as sharp in Game 3 of the NLCS, also could start Saturday.

The Cubs are waiting to see who they will play in the NLCS. The Mets and Dodgers play Game 5 on Thursday. The Cubs will open on the road with Games 1-2 Saturday and Sunday. Games 3-4-5 will be played at Wrigley Field, Oct. 20-22.

Jake Arrieta was 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two starts against the Mets this season, and threw a no-hitter against the Dodgers on Aug. 30. Lester was 1-0 in two starts against the Mets, and 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA against the Dodgers. Lester could start Games 1 and 5 of the NLCS, with Arrieta in Games 2 and 6, if necessary.

5 Comments

This is an intelligent thing to do. I was going to suggest it, and was beaten to the punch, if you like. That extra day of rest could be very beneficial to Arrieta. You`ll recall he was gassed in his start Monday. Everyone`s expectations became unrealistic for Jake. Those need to be dialed back. Starting the second game of the NLCS will give him the more than deserved opportunity to relax and refocus.

Hi jhosk. I don’t know if you saw the Blue Jays game yesterday but if you did I would like your opinion on just how far the fans should be allowed to go in order to diminish the visiting team. After a call was made by the umpires that they didn’t like they erupted into a frenzie of covering the field with bottles, trash, etc. This went on and on and play could not resume for some time. As the bottles, etc. were being thrown I saw a baby in the crowd hit by one of the falling objects. I believe the visiting team felt tremendously threatened by 40,000+ rioting fans and as a result their focus was on survival rather than playing the game. The Blue Jays won the game but in my opinion it was not a clean win but a tarnished display of mobsters. So I ask you what you think, sir.

Good morning, White. I did watch that game, and agree some of the Blue Jays` fans` behavior was reprehensible. We often say that a baseball fan who has observed the game for many decades may see something in a given game which he/she has never seen before. That was the case last night, for me and for other grizzled veteran baseball observers. Russell Martin, the Toronto catcher, received a pitch and casually attempted to toss the ball back to his hurler. But the ball struck the bat of the Rangers` player who was still in the batter`s box. The ball traveled askew somewhere along the third base line or was it into foul territory? Not sure. There was a Rangers` baserunner on third, and he immediately dashed for home, assuming it was a `live` ball. That runner was alert to do so, because the umpires ruled correctly that the baseball was `in play` under those circumstances, and allowed the run. The key was the fact that the batter was in the batter`s box. Had he been outside the box, a different ruling would have applied. I think it`s safe to say most of the fans in the stadium had never seen such a circumstance before, and they rejected the umpires` ruling and became apoplectic. They felt their Blue Jays had just been hosed. Keep in mind this Toronto team has not been `relevant` in a long while, and has not been part of a postseason for many years. The fans are overamped to move on to the next series. That is certainly not an excuse to throw bottles and cans and who knows what else onto the field and place other fans and players in jeopardy. That conduct was unacceptable and embarrassing. {I was not aware a baby in the crowd had been struck by one of the missiles. More reason to repudiate the behavior.} I can`t envision Cubs` fans ever exhibiting such conduct. Cubs` fans have far more class than that. Btw, the Rangers never should have been in this situation. They won the first two games of this series in Toronto, and had two opportunities to `take care of business` back home in Texas, and could not close the deal. To sum up, that behavior by the fans in Toronto last night was `beyond the pale.`

I think the Cubs are in a good spot right now with the rest. Should be a great series. I can’t wait! http://bit.ly/1GewvTe

I think the reason for starting Lester first is: If Lester and the Cubs win that 1st game, they stand a very good chance coming back to Chicago, two games up.
If the Cubs lose that first game, they stand a very good chance coming back to Chicago with a split.
First scenario gives the Cubs a huge advantage.
Second scenario put them in very good shape.

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