Report: Cubs to start Quintana in Game 1 of NLCS

After a long trip west and much thought on the matter, it appears the Chicago Cubs have finally decided on their Game 1 starter.

Chicago will reportedly start left-hander Jose Quintana in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday night at Chavez Ravine, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will oppose Quintana in a matchup of All-Star southpaws.

The remainder of Chicago’s NLCS rotation has not been announced.

Quintana gets the Game 1 nod despite having worked two-thirds of an inning in relief during Thursday’s wild Game 5 in Washington. His brief bullpen appearance – only 12 pitches – in the Cubs’ 9-8 win made his availability for the NLCS opener something of a question mark; the choice had come down to either Quintana or John Lackey, the latter of whom did not pitch in the Division Series.

The 28-year-old Colombian, acquired from the crosstown White Sox in July, also started Game 3 of the NLDS for the Cubs, and allowed one unearned run in 5 2/3 innings of work while striking out seven. Quintana has yet to allow an earned run this postseason.

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