Cubs make one roster change, name Quintana to start NLCS opener
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LOS ANGELES — Left-hander Jose Quintana will start Game 1 of the National League Championship Series today against the Dodgers, the Cubs announced about nine hours before the first pitch at Dodger Stadium.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon had been undecided on Friday, although Quintana seemed the likely choice over veteran right-hander John Lackey, who did not pitch in the NLDS against the Nationals. Quintana threw 12 pitches in a rare relief appearance of two-thirds of an inning in the Cubs’ 9-8 victory Thursday, which threw off the starter’s normal routine but only to a small degree.
The Cubs made one roster change, putting right-hander Hector Rondon on the roster and taking lefty Justin Wilson off.
The biggest roster news belonged to the Dodgers, who will not have All-Star shortstop Corey Seager for the series. Seager has been nursing a sore back, but was not expected to miss the series. Charlie Culberson is on the roster instead.
Manager Dave Roberts said Friday that Seager wasn’t a sure thing to start Saturday. Seager did not work out with teammates for the second consecutive day Friday at Dodger Stadium. Seager batted .295 with 22 home runs and 77 RBI during the regular season
“It’s just a little muscular thing,” Roberts said Friday, adding the injury occurred during Game 3 of the NLDS Monday in Phoenix.
In the first playoff appearance of his career, Quintana pitched 5 2/3 innings in a Game 2 matchup with Max Scherzer, allowing an unearned run because of Kyle Schwarber’s dropped fly ball in left field that prevented him from logging six scoreless innings.
The Cubs acquired Quintana during the All-Star break for four prospects, including prized outfielder Eloy Jimenez.
Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers, who lost to the Cubs in the 2016 NLCS. Gametime is 7 p.m. Chicago time (TBS).