Friday is a full day of playoff baseball. All four division series play today beginning with Game 2 of the Rangers and Blue Jays series (11:45am CDT). The Royals will try to even the best of five series with the Astros starting at 2:45pm CDT. And the day will conclude on the West Coast (8:45pm CDT) with the Mets and Dodgers.
- Game 1 – Friday, Oct. 9 – Cubs at Cardinals (Busch Stadium) – 5:45pm CDT
- Game 2 – Saturday, Oct. 10 – Cubs at Cardinals (Busch Stadium) – 4:37pm CDT
- Game 3 – Monday, Oct. 12 – Cardinals at Cubs (Wrigley Field) – 5:07pm CDT or 3:37pm CDT
- Game 4 – Tuesday, Oct. 13 – Cardinals at Cubs (Wrigley Field) – 3:37pm CDT or 7:07pm CDT
- Game 5 – Thursday, Oct. 15 – Cubs at Cardinals (Busch Stadium) – 3:37pm CDT or 7:07pm CDT
The starting times for games three through five are dependent on the other division series. If there are four games on Monday, the Cubs and Cardinals at Wrigley Field will start at 5:07pm CDT. If there are two or three games on Monday, the Cubs and Cardinals will start at 3:37pm CDT.
On Tuesday, if the Mets and Dodgers series ends in three games, the Cubs and Cardinals (Game 4) start at 7:07pm CDT. If the Mets and Dodgers play a Game 4, the Cubs and Cardinals start at 3:37pm CDT. And it’s the same for Game 5. On Thursday, if the Mets and Dodgers series does not go the full five games, the Cubs and Cardinals (Game 5) will begin at 7:07pm CDT. If the Mets and Dodgers play a Game 5, the fifth game of the Cubs and Cardinals series would start at 3:37pm CDT.
Joe Maddon announced the Cubs rotation for the division series. Maddon is going with Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrieta in the first three games. Jason Hammel will be available out of the bullpen. If Hammel is not used as a reliever, he could be an option to start Game 4 on Tuesday at Wrigley.
Maddon said he chose Hendricks to start Game 2 because of the way he pitched at the end of the regular season. Over his last three starts (Royals and Brewers), Hendricks allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and 25 strikeouts in 18 innings.
Pitching Matchups for NLDS
- Game 1: Jon Lester vs. John Lackey
- Game 2: Kyle Hendricks vs. Jaime Garcia
- Game 3: Jake Arrieta vs. Michael Wacha
- Game 4: Jason Hammel/TBD vs. Lance Lynn
- Game 5: Jon Lester vs. John Lackey
As for the NLDS roster, the Cubs will release it Friday morning (10:00am CDT). Maddon said Thursday he is not expecting significant changes from the Wild Card Game roster. The Cubs carried 10 pitchers and 15 position players for the one game.
The Cubs are likely to go with 11 pitchers and 14 position players for the series with the Cardinals. Jason Hammel will be added which will remove at least one position player.
The starting lineup for Game 1 of the NLDS should be posted midday.
Wild Card Game TV Ratings
The Cubs being back in the post-season is must-see TV. And the ratings for Wednesday’s Wild Card set records.
The Wild Card Game drew a 21.8 local rating in Chicago according to Austin Karp, the best for any Major League Baseball game in the market since Game 4 of the 2005 World Series.
Turner Sports reported the TBS broadcast drew a 5.5 overnight rating, the network’s highest rated Wild Card Game ever.
MLB issued a statement on the ratings for the Wild Card games. 8.3 million tuned in to watch the Cubs and Pirates on Wednesday night and it was the most viewed game on cable television since 2011.
Jason Motte is with the team but will not be on the active roster for the NLDS. Joe Maddon said Thursday the Cubs are trying to get Motte ready in the event he is needed later in the post-season.
Jason Motte has completed two bullpens, one in Arizona and one earlier this week. Motte also played catch Thursday. Motte told Carrie Muskat he feels good. And he could be an option for the bullpen if the Cubs advance in the post-season.
News and Notes
• Theo Epstein has invited all of the Cubs full-time baseball operations staff, all the scouts, and development personnel to Wrigley Field for Game 3 of the NLDS. Epstein told the Tribune he wants all of the people at Wrigley that helped put this team together and have helped get the organization to where it is.
• Anthony Rizzo is the third player in the last 30 seasons to lead the Cubs in the Triple Crown categories. Rizzo led the team in batting average (.278), home runs (31) and RBI (101). Sammy Sosa and Derrek Lee are the other two players to lead their respective teams in the three categories.
• Dexter Fowler thrives as table-setter for Cubs lineup according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
• The Sun-Times reported that Friday was the Cubs only sub-.500 day during the season.
• Tim Kurkjian posted five questions for the Cubs and Cardinals the day before the series started. Kurkjian brought up the health of Yadier Molina. Can the Cubs continue rolling? In what kind of shape is the Cardinals’ rotation? Can anyone beat Jake Arrieta? What kind of offense can the Cardinals generate? Kurkjian picked the Cardinals in five.
• Patrick Mooney reported the heated Cubs-Cardinals rivalry finally gets playoff spotlight.
• Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina are on the Cardinals’ NLDS roster and back in play for the series.
• Ryne Sandberg thinks the Cubs can win it all.
And last, but not least, Jon Lester provided an update on the ball that hit Jake Arrieta in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s game. According to Lester, the ball “suffered a deep contusion to the left stitch and is out for the rest of the season.”
This Day In Cubstory
2004 – Cubs granted free agency to Calvin Murray
1996 – Red Sox selected Mike Campbell off waivers from the Cubs
1989 – Cubs dropped the fifth and deciding game of the NLCS to the Giants, 3-2.
1982 – Jason Jaramillo, born
1947 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Randy Jackson
1946 – Cubs released Billy Jurges
1946 – Jim Qualls, born
1940 – Joe Pepitone, born
1938 – Yankees completed the four-game sweep over the Cubs with an 8-3 victory at Yankee Stadium to win the World Series. The Yankees became the first team to win three straight World Series titles.
1928 – Cubs crushed the White Sox 13-2 at Comiskey Park and won the City Series, four games to three
1925 – Cubs selected Hack Wilson in the Rule 5 Draft from the Giants’ Toledo farm team for $5,000.
1907 – Cubs beat the Tigers behind Jack Pfiester 3-1 in the second game of the World Series at West Side Grounds
1906 – Mordecai Brown lost 2-1 to Nick Altrock and the White Sox in the first game of the All-Chicago World Series at a snowy West Side Grounds. The Cubs and White Sox played in the first one-city Fall Classic.
1886 – The Chicago National League Ball Club clinched the pennant with a 12-3 victory over the Braves in Boston. The game was called after seven innings due to darkness. John Clarkson pitched a complete game and collected two hits.