The Chicago Cubs just beat the Washington Nationals 9-8 — in one of the craziest baseball games you’ll ever see — to advance to their third consecutive National League Championship Series.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein — who has seen a lot of crazy baseball over the years — said that he was “nervous as fuck and bemused” as he watched Thursday night’s game.

To win the game, it took the Cubs using seven pitchers, including closer Wade Davis for the final seven outs. Kyle Hendricks started the game and threw 81 pitches over four innings, and Game 3 starter Jose Quintana came out of the bullpen for 12 pitches. This is after Game 2 starter Jon Lester threw 55 pitches over 3 2/3 innings in relief of Jake Arrieta in Game 4.

So, all four Cubs playoff starters have pitched in a game since Wednesday, and Game 1 of the NLCS is Saturday, followed by Game 2 on Sunday. The Cubs understandably went by the “you have to get there first” mentality when thinking the NLCS, but it’s left them in a tough spot, and especially when you consider they have to face Clayton Kershaw and a rested juggernaut team in Game 1.

During the Cubs’ postgame celebration, Epstein was asked who would start Game 1 for the Cubs, and he said that the Cubs will “figure it out on the plane before the heavy drinking starts.”

(I actually saw this great quote on television and meant to get video, but I accidentally changed the channel and lost my DVR rewinding ability. Dammit.)

But Epstein made it sound like the Cubs are currently planning on going with Quintana in Game 1, as Thursday’s brief outing was basically like a scheduled side session.

Quintana put together a 3.74 ERA and 3.25 FIP in 14 regular-season starts for the Cubs after being acquired in a trade with the Chicago White Sox in July. He was outstanding in Game 3, shutting out the Nats over 5 2/3 innings in the Cubs’ 2-1 win.

If the Cubs decide against the Quintana idea, John Lackey would be the most likely alternative. The veteran right-hander was the Cubs’ No. 5 starter this season and was on the NLDS roster, but didn’t pitch in a game.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at