Cubs set rotation to have ace Jake Arrieta ready for NL wild-card game

Baseball More than three weeks from the end of the regular season, baseball fans already have a postseason pitching matchup to look forward to: Jake Arrieta (18-6, 2.03 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (16-8, 2.54).Cubs manager Joe Maddon confirmed Wednesday morning that Arrieta is lined up to get the start in a likely NL wild-card game against the Pirates on Oct. 7, the Chicago Tribune reported. MORE: The 10 greatest Cubs players of all timeThe news comes the same week the Pirates will skip their ace's turn in the rotation, to give him a break — and set him up to start that Oct. 7 game on full rest. In confirming that Arrieta was in line to take the mound in the one-game playoff, Maddon said he hopes his team continues to push to not only get the home-field in advantage in that wild-card game but also to catch the first-place Cardinals, who hold a 6 1/2-game lead with 25 games to play."Our goal is not just to play in the wild-card game," Maddon said. "You’d prefer not having to do something like that. I just don’t want our guys to lose track or thoughts of catching the Cardinals. That’s our best way to play outstanding baseball for the rest of the month leading into the playoffs. You try to catch the Pirates, and then the next (team). I still want us to approach every day that way.’’Entering Wednesday's schedule, the C

ubs trail the Pirates by two games for the first NL wild-card berth and home-field advantage.


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