Javy Baez returned to the starting lineup and Kyle Schwarber, despite committing a double error in left field that could have been costly in the Cubs’ 2-1 victory in Game 3, will be back in left for the Cubs in Game 4 of the National League Division Series vs. the Washington Nationals Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
Ben Zobrist is in right field, with Jason Heyward the odd man out against Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark. Heyward is 0-for-18 in his career against Roark.
Game time is 4:38 p.m. (TBS, 670-AM, 1000-AM), but was officially under a delay as of 3:55 p.m. Rain is forecast for much of the afternoon and evening. Wednesday is an open date, with Game 5, if necessary, scheduled Thursday in Washington.
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Right-hander Jake Arrieta, who has been nursing a hamstring injury, will make what could be his final start as a Cub should the team fail to advance in the series. The Cubs, however are looking to put the hammer down on the Nationals, who have lost in the NLDS in 2012, 2014 and 2016. A win tonight would propel the Cubs into the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers.
Arrieta has been nursing a hamstring injury since the end of September, but Joe Maddon said the 2015 NL Cy Young winner is ready to play.
“Jake is pretty much a 100 percenter right now,” Maddon said on 670-AM Tuesday afternoon. “His workouts have been clean, we gave him plenty of time. There’s been no residue or negative effects. Jake is ready to go.”
Maddon said if Tuesday’s game is rained out, Arrieta will still pitch Game 4 on the rescheduled day.
Nats manager Dusty Baker was noncommittal on whether Roark would still pitch or whether Game 1 starter Stephen Strasburg would start in the event of a rainout.
‘That [decision] rocess would start with [pitching coach] Mike Maddux and I,” Baker said Tuesday. “Then we would talk to Stras. You’d have to change guys’ bullpens around. Guys have routines.”
Arrieta is 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA since the Cubs acquired him from the Orioles in 2013. Arrieta hasn’t been very good against the Nationals, though, with 1-2 record and 5.48 ERA in nine career starts against Washington. Arrieta is 4-2 with a 3.64 ERA in seven postseason starts in his career.
Maddon also announced Tuesday that Kyle Hendricks will be the Cubs Game 5 pitcher if necessary.
Hendricks threw seven scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and six walks while fanning six batters, in Game 1.
Here is the Cubs lineup:
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
Here’s the Nationals lineup:
Trea Tuner, SS
Jayson Werth LF
Bryce Harper RF
Ryan Zimmerman 1B
Daniel Murphy 2B
Anthony Rendon 3B
Matt Wieters C
Michael Taylor CF
Tanner Roark P