Cubs-Nats offering unexpected Game 2 pitching matchup

WASHINGTON — Cubs lefty Jon Lester, a veteran of three World Collection, usually would loom as a Recreation 1 playoff starter. Lefty Gio Gonzalez would determine in for the third recreation on a Nationals employees that options Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

So naturally each are scheduled to start out Recreation 2 on Saturday within the Nationwide League Division Collection.

Gonzalez was named by Nationals supervisor Dusty Baker, who additionally introduced Scherzer, battling an aching hamstring for the previous week, would
pitch Recreation three — assuming he’s bodily in a position.

Lester, who shared the NLCS MVP honor with Javier Baez final yr, had a special sort of pregame earlier than the collection began with the Cubs profitable three-zero in Recreation 1 on Friday at Nationals Park.

“It’s type of good, truly. You recognize, it’s sort of totally different strolling in and never having something to do and never fear about something. Took the late bus for the primary time,” stated Lester, 9-7 lifetime in 14 totally different postseason collection. “It’s good. I imply, clearly it’s not excellent. As a competitor, you’re employed for these video games. However on the similar time, it’s sort of good to take a seat again and let different guys deal with it.”

A minimum of till Recreation 2.

Lester (thirteen-eight, four.33 ERA) had some hiccups all through the season. He nonetheless topped the Cubs employees in begins (32), strikeouts (one hundred eighty) and innings pitched (one hundred eighty ²/₃). However Kyle Hendricks was the Cubs’ greatest pitcher down the stretch and obtained the Recreation 1 begin. Groups have confronted worse fates than having Lester for a Recreation 2 within the postseason.

“Everyone handles it in another way. Everyone has to give attention to various things to sort of get them locked in. Mine is my routine. I all the time fall again on my routine,” Lester stated.

Gonzalez doesn’t have the résumé of Lester. He has made 4 postseason begins in three collection and not using a choice. He received the decision due to Scherzer’s state of affairs.

“We’re going to go Gio [Saturday] after which Max will go, slated to go, Recreation three,” Baker stated. “Right now he threw some, [Thursday] it was decided that we might be higher if we waited until Recreation three.”

And Gonzalez (15-9, 2.ninety six ERA) isn’t a horrible choice.

“Final [postseason] begin I had at residence was in 2012. So it was a very long time in the past,” Gonzalez stated. “Simply always making an attempt to re-evolve, looking for a brand new option to throw strikes. The sport’s altering. You’re seeing the hitting is fairly robust. “So for us, it’s making an attempt to assault the strike zone, making an attempt to lock in instantly. You’ll be able to’t let your self get in a groove…

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