2017 NLCS: Wade Davis Unavailable For Cubs In Game 5 Against Dodgers
Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

It was not until Game 4 that Chicago Cubs closer Wade Davis made his debut in the National League Championship Series. A decision to not call on Davis in Game 2 cost the Cubs as John Lackey surrendered a walk-off home run to Justin Turner in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Manager Joe Maddon explained his closer was unavailable that evening because he’d extended to 44 pitches over 2.1 innings to earn a save in Game 5 of the NL Division Series just three days prior.

With the Cubs facing elimination against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Davis again extended himself, converting a six-out save. He allowed a home run to Turner, threw 48 pitches and faced nine batters.

While the Cubs managed to force the NLCS to a Game 5, they once more are without the services of their closer, per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers:

Joe Maddon doesn’t have a closer tonight. It’ll be based on matchups. Don’t expect a starter to pitch in relief either.

Following his club’s win in Game 4, Maddon had already indicated Davis would be unavailable. “This is where the guys got to pretty much do their jobs,” Maddon said.

“We’ll be able to parcel it out a little more cleanly. Strop’s good, C.J.’s good, Lackey’s good, Rondon’s good, Duensing’s good, Montgomery’s good. They’re all good.”

Following his strong outing, Jake Arrieta volunteered to pitch in relief, if necessary. He allowed just one run, walked five, struck out nine and threw 111 pitches over 6.2 innings to help snap the Dodgers’ six-game winning streak in the postseason.

One starter who is not expected to take the mound at Wrigley Field is Jon Lester. He said prior to Game 5 his focus and preparation is on Saturday, which would be a start at Dodger Stadium in Game 6.