Lester rebounded from struggles since a lat injury to ease the Cubs’ concerns about the front end of their rotation heading into the playoffs.
After a four-year run with the Cubs that neither Greg Maddux nor Rick Sutcliffe can match, Arrieta wants another title before free agency calls.
GREENBERG: Take it from someone who lived in St. Louis as it won its last two titles — Cardinal Nation still isn’t coping well with the Cubs’ success.
Lester’s recent struggles have put his position in the Cubs’ playoff rotation in question.
October has come early for the Cubs, who say they have a playoff mindset right now. They’ve won 10 of 12 to reach the brink of the division title.
Prez of baseball operations Theo Epstein: “I support our players’ rights to express their opinions in any peaceful and respectful manner they choose.“
Jose Quintana struck out 10 and earned the shutout, and nthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist drove in two runs apiece.
The Cub manager took heat on social media comments made after he was asked about the flap over the Warriors and a rescinded White House invitation.
Last year’s major-league ERA champ has a 2.34 ERA in 12 starts since returning from a hand injury and looks stronger than Game 1 candidate Jon Lester.
GREENBERG: Hughes admits he used to count the days until the end of the season. But now, with the Cubs this good? He has “never felt more alive.”
Milwaukee moved back to within 4 1/2 games of NL Central-leading Chicago and 1 1/2 games back of Colorado for a wild-card spot.
Perhaps the most indispensable player on the roster, the Cubs’ lone All-Star said he hopes the Cubs will talk to him about returning in 2018.
The Cubs knocked the Brewers into third place and reduced their magic number for clinching over the Cards to five with nine games to play.
GREENBERG: In so many ways as the first-place Cubs took on the second-place Brewers, it was visible that fall baseball has arrived.
Anthony Rizzo came up with the Cubs’ latest zany practice: An angry player signaling for a team venting session in the tunnel behind the dugout.