Chicago Cubs: Who would be the No. 3 starter in the playoffs?

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Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Hammel – 9-7, 3.86 ERA, 165 2/3 IP, 40 BB/167 K’s

Comparatively speaking, the numbers between Hammel and Hendricks are quite similar. Their season stories, however, have been very different. Hammel started off the season very well, and without a doubt was the Cubs clear No.3–if we were to be looking this far ahead at the time. But after leaving a start in July with a hamstring issue–a game I was at, and I live in Charlotte, NC–he’s not been the same since. He would tell you it hasn’t been an issue, but the results beg to differ.

Now, the Maddon “quick hook” has applied to pretty much everyone, and Hammel may have gotten it a few times prematurely. The two had a conversation following the first one and had moved passed it. When it happened again, there was no talk about it. Hammel didn’t like it. Joe knew he didn’t and that was that.

He hasn’t pitched into the seventh inning since Aug. 23, although he has won two of his last four starts. And in his last outing against Pittsburgh he was pulled after just 62 pitches after four innings. The Cubs simply had no answer for Francisco Liriano and Maddon made the move early to try and jumpstart the offense to no avail.

PREDICTION: I think Hammel may still get the nod at the No.3 unless something changes drastically in this last week. He really hasn’t been that bad, even when he’s been “bad”. Maddon simply hasn’t given him the chance to do so.

Next: He really does only throw 88