clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cubs go with Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish for Games 1 and 2 of NL wild-card round

Manager David Ross says he’ll start left-hander Jon Lester if series goes to Game 3.

Kyle Hendricks will start Game 1 of the Cubs’ wild card series against the Marlins.
Kyle Hendricks will start Game 1 of the Cubs’ wild card series against the Marlins.
Morry Gash/AP

Since Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, it has been no secret that Kyle Hendricks is built for the big moments.

The cool, calm and collected right-hander was part of the Cubs’ 1-2 punch with Yu Darvish this season. He’ll now look to move the team to the next round of the playoffs after manager David Ross officially named Hendricks and Darvish his Game 1 and 2 starters Monday for the wild-card series against the Marlins.

Hendricks pitched like he was in playoff mode in September, going 3-1 with a 1.45 ERA in five starts. He’s ready for the challenge that October brings.

“It’s a huge honor for me to get the nod from Rossy for Game 1,” he said. “But at the end of the day, we all know what Yu’s done this year. He’s our ace. He’s the guy. He’s been dominant all year long.”

Said Ross: “I really feel like I got two aces. I trust both those guys. I think Kyle’s résumé, when we talked about giving him the ball to start the season, what he’s been through in his career and the stages he’s been on and the way he’s performed, I think it’s really easy. It’s very comforting from my seat when he takes the ball at any stage and at any point during the season.”

Hendricks, who will be pitching on seven days’ rest, threw an extra bullpen session to get himself prepared for Wednesday’s start and is locked in for what he hopes is a long playoff run.

“It’s just the same routine that I’ve been doing, same preparation,” he said. “I’ve been working on it for years. I was lucky to have a lot of good coaches coming up through the minor leagues that really stressed the importance of routine. And so I was able to find things that worked for me. . . . You listen to your body, see if you need anything different, but for the most part, it is the same routine every five days.”

Confidence booster

The Cubs’ bats broke out in a big way in their final regular-season series against the White Sox — 25 runs in three games. The offensive spike came just in time as they prepare to play their most important baseball of 2020.

“I think that was definitely a good step to go out and score those runs, especially against some velocity pitchers,” left fielder Kyle Schwarber said. “I think the biggest thing is obviously the playoff juices kick in and everyone knows what’s at stake now, and it’s time to be together and scratch, fight, claw any way that we can get a run in.”

Lester pegged for third game

Ross confirmed Tuesday that veteran left-hander Jon Lester will get the ball in Game 3 against the Marlins’ Pablo Lopez, if necessary.