NLDS Game 4: Nationals, Cubs lineups

NLDS Game 4: Nationals, Cubs lineups

In a surprising shift from their initial plans, Stephen Strasburg will now start Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Cubs on Wednesday, as Washington looks to avoid elimination. As such, the Cubs have revised a lineup they initially released due to the new pitching matchup.

Right fielder Jason Heyward, who was initially left out due to his 0-for-18 career mark against Tanner Roark, has replaced Kyle Schwarber, and is batting seventh. Heyward is a career .405/.463/.595 hitter against Strasburg in 41 plate appearances, second-most of any pitcher he's faced in his career. Addison Russell moved up to the six-hole, and Ben Zobrist has shifted from right to left field. No other significant adjustments were made.

The Nationals, meanwhile, who are hitting .121 this series, made a minor overhaul. All eight positional starters from Games 1-3 remain, though manager Dusty Baker has gone with a revised lineup after constructing one-through-eight exactly the same through the first three games.

Anthony Rendon, who is 1-for-10 this series shifted from the three- to six-hole, as Jayson Werth was bumped up to the second spot. As such, Bryce Harper has dropped one spot to third, and Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman have swapped spots, now batting fourth and fifth, respectively.

First pitch for Game 4 of the NLDS presented by T-Mobile on Wednesday is slated for 4:08 p.m. ET on TBS at Wrigley Field. This game was initially scheduled for Tuesday, but was postponed roughly an hour after its scheduled first pitch due to lingering rain throughout the night in Chicago.

As of Tuesday, the Nationals had declared Strasburg, who was under the weather, out for Wednesday, despite the opportunity to pitch on regular rest when Game 4 was postponed. Baker said after the game was pushed back that the Nats were sticking with Roark.

Strasburg, who posted an MLB-best 0.86 ERA after the All-Star break, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of Game 1, finishing with an earned run and 10 strikeouts over seven strong innings.

With Jake Arrieta making his '17 postseason debut, Cubs manager Joe Maddon has reinstalled Baez, with hope that his combination with Russell will provide a defensive upgrade in the infield. Maddon is hoping Arrieta, who had a 45.5 percent ground-ball rate this year, his lowest in four full seasons the Cubs, will take advantage of the middle-infield duo behind him.

This will be a critical start for Arrieta, who is 4-2 with a 3.64 ERA in seven postseason starts, all for the Cubs over the last two seasons. A right hamstring strain that he admittedly returned too soon from last month prompted the Cubs to start him later in the series to give him more rest.

NATIONALS
Trea Turner, SS
Jayson Werth, LF
Bryce Harper, RF
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Anthony Rendon, 3B
Matt Wieters, C
Michael A. Taylor, CF
Stephen Strasburg, P

CUBS
Jon Jay, CF
Kris Bryant, 3B
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Willson Contreras, C
Ben Zobrist, LF
Jason Heyward, RF
Addison Russell, SS
Javier Baez, 2B
Jake Arrieta, P