Earlier today, we learned that Jake Arrieta’s hamstring recovery – well, the latest stretch – hasn’t featured a setback, but he won’t be pitching in a simulated game tomorrow as planned. The hope is still that he’ll take the ball in Game Three or Game Four of the NLDS when the Cubs and Nats come to Wrigley Field.
Similarly, it turns out, the Nationals’ big-time righty, Max Scherzer, might not go until Game Three of the NLDS because of his own hamstring issue:
scherzer says he's pitching in the nlds, and word is, he is targeting game 3 https://t.co/XJtfywBvfg
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 3, 2017
If Scherzer is not able to go in Games One or Two for the Nats, that takes off the table entirely the possibility that he could pitch twice in the series. If true, that’s a huge boon to the Cubs’ chances, even though Stephen Strasburg, who figures to start Games One and Five (if necessary) is no slouch. He’s just not quite Max Scherzer.
The Nats and Cubs figure to reveal their rotations tomorrow. The Cubs are likely going with Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester in the first two games in some order, and then Jose Quintana and Arrieta in some combination in the second two games.