Chicago Cubs: Jon Lester will take Game 1, Jake Arrieta in Game 2 of NLCS


While we wait for the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets to take the field to see which team will advance to the NLCS to take on our Chicago Cubs, the first two pitcher’s of the series have already been announced.

This may not shock you, but according to Carrie Muskat, Joe Maddon will turn to veteran southpaw Jon Lester in Game 1 and leave Game 2 to his possible N.L. Cy Young winner, Jake Arrieta.

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Both games will be on the road, and both men had road starts against each team and pitched fairly well. Lester was tagged for five earned runs on eight hits across six innings of work while pitching opposite Mat Latos on Aug. 29th in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.

Later on that weekend, Arrieta worked his first no-hitter on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, setting the tone for the rest of the season and N.L. Wild Card game later down the road.

If the Dodgers are the team to advance, Lester could be matched up against Zack Greinke on Saturday which would put Clayton Kershaw in line to go toe-to-toe with Arrieta on Sunday.

That is, if Los Angeles gets by the Mets who have Yoenis Cespedes firing on all cylinders.

So far this postseason, Maddon has used Arrieta twice while saving his 31-year-old lefty for a potential Game 5 in St. Louis which as we all know, isn’t going to happen. Maybe next year.

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In two games during playoff baseball, Jake carries a 2-0 record with an earned run average of 2.45 between the Bucs and Redbirds. The 29-year-old right-hander appeared to be somewhat shaky in his previous appearance, surrendering four earned runs on five hits including a two-run shot off the bat of Jason Heyward.

His offense backed him up by launching a postseason record six home runs courtesy of Kyle Schwarber, Starlin Castro, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, and last but not least, Dexter Fowler who hammered a pitch to right field himself.

Hopefully, Lester will receive some run support himself (zero offensive runs in Game 1) from this home run heavy club who continued to take pitcher’s deep in Game 4 of the NLDS as they recorded three more.

Rookie slugger, Schwarber aka The Hulk leads the club with three bombs while Soler and Rizzo sit in a tie with two a piece. The only question now, is will Addison Russell be ready to go this weekend?

Russell left Game 3 with a hamstring strain and was replaced by Javier Baez that night and the next day. Baez had himself a three-run homer off John Lackey early in the game.

Next: Vedder, Cubs had sing-along at Lester's place