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Jose Quintana will start Game 1 of the NLCS

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The Cubs will go to left-hander Jose Quintana for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, the club announced Saturday. John Lackey was also rumored to get the ball for Game 1, as Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta are still recovering from increased workloads in the Division Series. Manager Joe Maddon evidently saw something he liked in the lefty’s postseason debut last Monday, though he told reporters he expects it will be “incredibly difficult” to get a 2-0 head start in the series.

Quintana, 28, posted a 3.74 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 10.5 SO/9 in 84 1/3 innings with the Cubs following a midseason trade from the White Sox. He doesn’t have Lackey’s extensive playoff experience, but shone in his first postseason start during Game 3 of the NLDS, striking out seven batters and holding the Nationals to two hits and a run over 5 2/3 innings. He returned in Game 5 to pitch part of a scoreless seventh inning and earned a hold in the club’s 9-8 finish.

The Dodgers are scheduled to host the Cubs for Game 1 at 8:00 PM ET on Saturday. Fellow left-hander Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the Dodgers following his Game 1 performance in the NLDS, during which he clinched his fifth career postseason win with 6 1/3 innings of four-run, seven-strikeout ball against the Diamondbacks.

Baseball to honor Stoneman Douglas High School as spring training games begin

New Era
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There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.

The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.

All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.

After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.

Here’s today’s schedule: