John Lackey, service pitcher? Here’s a gash during Cubs’ register vs. Nats – Chicago Sun

Another unchanging deteriorate is in a books. There were 92 victories. A second uninterrupted multiplication crown. Approximately 3.2 million in home attendance. The Cubs will gladly take it all.

The good news? After a incomprehensible 3-1 detriment to a Reds in a culmination Sunday, a Cubs enter their NLDS matchup opposite a Nationals as a usually fortifying World Series champion in a final 5 years to make it behind to a playoffs. The bad news? Well, there is no bad news. But this year’s Cubs were a distant cry from final year’s organisation over a 162-game haul.

“It’s roughly like — we all live in cold continue — when we go out there in a morning and we try to spin that automobile over, and it only does not wish to start,” manager Joe Maddon said. “That was my Uncle Chuck. Uncle Chuck was all about that. His vehicles would never wish to start.

“And afterwards eventually it does flog in. It competence cough a small bit and sputter, but, if a automobile is finely tuned, eventually it’s going to run properly. It’s kind of what a year was all about. We could not get it to spin over, and afterwards eventually it did. And afterwards all of a remarkable we started personification like we can. So we always consider about my Uncle Chuck in those situations.”

At this point, it’ll be a warn if John Lackey ever starts another diversion for a Cubs. (Getty Images)

We’re certain Uncle Chuck would have wanted us to try to answer a few pivotal questions that were unresolved over Wrigley Field all weekend:

1. Who’s going to be on a playoff roster?

There are 22 thatch — 10 of them pitchers — for a 25 register spots opposite a Nationals. (Remember, a register can be altered before any new series.)

Pitchers: Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, John Lackey, Mike Montgomery, Wade Davis, Carl Edwards Jr., Pedro Strop and Brian Duensing.

The series won’t stay during 10. Best guess: It grows by one, and that one is lefty reliever Justin Wilson. Veteran righty reliever Hector Rondon is a probable 12th pitcher, or he feasible could get a call over Wilson as a 11th and final arm. More expected Rondon — and Justin Grimm — goes a odd-man-out route.

Position players: Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Willson Contreras, Addison Russell, Javy Baez, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Jon Jay, Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, Albert Almora Jr. and Alex Avila.

There will be one or dual others. Will lefty pinch-hitting dilettante Tommy La Stella get a nod, distinct a year ago? Probably. It could go possibly approach with No. 3 catcher Rene Rivera. Outfielder Leonys Martin is roughly certainly a no.

2. What will be a starting rotation?

We’d gamble during slightest a few bucks on this order: Lester in Game 1, followed by Hendricks, Arrieta and, if necessary, Quintana.

We’d gamble a plantation on Lackey’s being in a bullpen. He pitched an inning of service Sunday opposite a Reds — a initial time given 2004 that he’d pitched in a regular-season diversion started by someone else — though Maddon wouldn’t endorse that a preference had been made.

Neither would Lackey when he speckled a organisation of media watchful during his locker and anticipating to ask him about it.

“Yeah, that’s not happening,” he snapped.

3. When will this things turn official?

Maddon will accommodate Wednesday with pitching manager Chris Bosio and boss of ball operations Theo Epstein to plead a rotation. We should have answers that afternoon.

The large register exhibit competence take a small longer. The Cubs don’t have to announce that until Friday morning, a day of Game 1.

Follow me on Twitter @SLGreenberg.

Email: sgreenberg@suntimes.com

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