Maddon: Don't care if Cubs' lineup irks Brewers

PITTSBURGH -- The Chicago Cubs will have a say in the National League Central race after all -- albeit as spoilers only.

The Cubs finish their regular season this weekend in St. Louis, where the first-place Cardinals are holding on to a one-game lead on the surging Milwaukee Brewers.

Already eliminated from the postseason this week, Cubs manager Joe Maddon was asked if he'll play his regular lineup against the Cards.

"We're going to put a good team out there, but of course they're going to bitch," Maddon said with a laugh. "Of course they are. I get it. But quite frankly, there are certain things I don't give a s--- about. And that would be one of them."

Cubs pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Yu Darvish have been shut down, and stars Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez are all nursing injuries. Righty Alec Mills will start Friday's series opener against Dakota Hudson, and Cole Hamels is slated to pitch a few innings Saturday against Cards starter Miles Mikolas. Hamels has been out with a sore shoulder and is pitching only to prove he's healthy entering free agency.

"This is the first time I'm going into free agency and I don't want that in the back of teams' heads," Hamels said.

The Cubs haven't announced a starter for Sunday and could just go with a "bullpen game." Maddon said his team will still compete; it just won't be with many of the regulars.

"I will put out the guys that I think are the appropriate guys to play based on what's good for our people, not for their people," he said. "But we're going to put a good team out there regardless."

The Brewers complete their regular season in Colorado, having already clinched at least a wild-card spot. The Cardinals, who swept a four-game series against the Cubs last weekend, also have locked up at least a wild card.

After Thursday's 9-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago now has lost nine straight games.