If the rain holds off and the Cubs win tonight, they’ll be headed towards their third consecutive NLCS – which, whoa, think about how impressive that would be (but don’t think about it too much, because they have to do it first).
Here’s the lineup for Game 4:
- Jon Jay, CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Jake Arrieta, P
With the righty Tanner Roark on the mound, the Cubs have loaded the lineup with … well, not as many lefties as you may have otherwise expected given his extreme splits this season and the quality lefties on the Cubs bench:
Today's Nats starter, Tanner Roark, has allowed lefties to hit .283/.362/.474 off him.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) October 10, 2017
Four batters will hit from the left side of the plate today, but one of them, Jon Jay, is a reverse split guy anyway (he’s still the right call, I’m just pointing that out) and another, Ben Zobrist, hasn’t been hitting all too great lately (yesterday’s double off Max Scherzer notwithstanding).
But Joe Maddon is showing a relentless commitment to Zobrist, sticking him right field instead of the much better glove (and left-handed bat) of Jason Heyward. I’m not saying Zobrist isn’t an upgrade over Heyward offensively (he probably is), but all things considered (glove, base running, etc.) I’m not so sure I’d have made this call. Ian Happ, meanwhile, continues to be criminally underutilized this series.
UPDATE: Ah … now it makes some sense:
#Cubs Bryant is 5-for-11 (.455) with HR vs Nats' Roark. Heyward is 0-for-18 (but most likely will sub defensively)
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) October 10, 2017
Other than that, there aren’t too many surprises, and, as usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (4:30).