Chicago Cubs: Starting rotation for the playoffs can be deadly

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
2 of 5
Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Coming for that #1 spot

After all that has transpired this season, there is one thing I must confess. Many of you said this last year, but I refused to follow suit. And, the way last season ended, I was right.

Not anymore. I no longer can say that Jon Lester is the true ace of the Chicago Cubs pitching staff. That is not to say I do not trust him, just simply his performance this year is not consistent with ace material.

With that confession done, the decision on whom should take the starting spot in game one versus Washington. There are two worthy candidates.

More from Cubbies Crib

Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks.

Last season, Hendricks was the king of Wrigley Field. And, while he started off slow this year, and was injured for a bit, Hendrick is (in my opinion) the best starter on the Chicago Cubs. In a game when you want to limit runs – especially if Max Scherzer is healthy enough to start – Hendricks is the man for the mission.

Had he qualified, Hendricks would boast the sixth-best ERA in the National League. Not back for the season after leading the league. He would also be sixth in walk/hits per nine innings. He may not overpower batters, but Hendricks is clearly one of the best in the National League.

Unlikely last season, Hendricks is better on the road than at home. He started 13 games at Wrigley with a record of four wins and three losses. His home ERA was 3.20, allowing 27 earned runs and 11 home runs in 76 innings. On the road? How about a 2.83 ERA, six home runs in 11 games. He showed he could be trusted on away from home.

And, let’s not forget his playoff performance last season. Against the top offense in the NL, Hendricks will get a chance to pick up a much-needed win.