Chicago Cubs: Starting rotation for the playoffs can be deadly

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

But, that means…

Yes. That means that should the series make it to Game 4; the Chicago Cubs are left to John Lackey or Jake Arrieta. If Arrieta can go in Game 3, and the Cubs are down two games, I can see him pitching there. But, Game 4 may be better suited for him. It provides a bit more rest, which will help his ailing hamstring.

This year, he struggled through four innings versus the Nationals, allowing six runs on six hits. And let’s not forget the seven stolen bases. While he is slower to the plate, we know Arrieta is not fully to blame.

The second half of the season was stellar for Arrieta. In 12 starts, he accumulated a 2.28 ERA, allowing only 17 earned runs. Opponents hit for a .215 batting average, much better than what he allowed in the first half.

The major concern I have is controlling the bases. While the Cubs do feature one of the best catchers at throwing out runners, Arrieta’s numbers are better when Alex Avila is behind the plate. Sure, the sample size is small, but a .167 opponent average is better than .242. Just a thought.

Next: Pitching could be the difference in NLDS

The major issue I have with this rotation is how it sets up for the NLCS, should the Chicago Cubs make it there – for the third time in a row. It actually may work well, but getting there will be enough of a challenge.