Cubs’ Arrieta likely to miss final regular-season start

CHICAGO (AP) Jake Arrieta will likely miss his final regular-season start for the Chicago Cubs to rest before the playoffs.

Arrieta and manager Joe Maddon said he will probably skip his turn for the defending World Series champions when they wrap up the regular season against Cincinnati on Sunday.

The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner strained his right hamstring on Sept. 4 and didn’t pitch again until Sept. 21. He lasted three innings Tuesday against St. Louis – his second-shortest outing this season.

”I feel great,” said Arrieta, who was planning to throw a simulated game if he doesn’t start Sunday. ”When my time comes, I’ll be ready to go.”

The Cubs clinched their second straight NL Central title this week and are eyeing another deep run after winning the World Series for the first time since 1908 last year.

Arrieta (14-10, 3.53 ERA) would likely pitch Game 3 of the NL Division Series against Washington at Wrigley Field. He had been on a tear before the injury, with a 6-1 record and 1.59 ERA in his first nine starts following the All-Star break.

”A real healthy Jake pitching like he can is very important to us,” Maddon said. ”There’s no question about that. Moving forward right now, that was a significant injury. We’re trying to get him back to being more normal Jake. He can be very large for us in that next series coming up.”

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