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Cubs bullpen needs will guide final calls on wild-card roster

Cubs' wild-card roster boils down to bullpen decisions.

Only a few decisions regarding the makeup of the bullpen are left before the Cubs finalize their 25-man roster for Wednesday night's National League wild-card game against the Pirates.

"The last couple days may have helped solidify some last-minute decisions," said manager Joe Maddon, who met Sunday morning with President Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer. "I don't think it's going to be a difficult decision when we get there because we've done work in advance of the moment, like everyone else."

Maddon was able to rest closer Hector Rondon and setup men Pedro Strop and Fernando Rodney during a 3-1 win over the Brewers on Sunday. Justin Grimm and Travis Wood each pitched an inning. They're expected to join Trevor Cahill and Clayton Richard on the roster.

Left-hander Jon Lester could serve as an emergency backup to starter Jake Arrieta. That could leave them deciding whether to carry Neil Ramirez or another position player.

Quintin Berry stole a base Sunday and is 27-for-28 in his career. He likely will make the roster as a base-stealing specialist.

Hammel's tips: Jason Hammel provided sage advice to Grimm and others who will experience the playoffs for the first time.

"The thing I tell guys who haven't done it before is that it's like opening day every day for about a month," Hammel said. "All the energy from the fans, obviously a few nerves. It's a lot of fun and never a dull moment in these games."

Hammel told Grimm he wasn't nervous when he pitched the fifth and deciding game of the 2012 American League Division Series for the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

"It was a lot of fun because you were in the same division, and I pitched at Yankee Stadium a few times," Hammel said. "You get a feel for it. As long as you don't let the moment take you and cover you up, you'll be able to handle it fine."

Haren's last hurrah: Dan Haren reiterated that this is his last season after beating the Brewers and improving his career record to 153-131.

"That was it for me," Haren said. "If I have to pitch in the postseason, I'll be ready, for sure."

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