After facing left-handed pitchers in each of the first two games, a pair of right-handers take the mound for Game 3 of the NLCS in Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks. As a result, the lineups for the Dodgers and Cubs have changed a bit.
Game 3 lineups
|1B||Bellinger (L)||LF||Schwarber (L)|
|2B||Utley (L)||CF||Jay (L)|
|CF||Pederson (L)||RF||Heyward (L)|
Chris Taylor shifts to shortstop for the Dodgers in Game 3 after Charlie Culberson started the first two games. That opens up center field for Joc Pederson.
Andre Ethier makes his first start of the postseason in left field and batting fifth, after appearing in just one of the Dodgers’ first five playoff games. This is the 45th career playoff game for Ethier, tied with Steve Garvey and Davey Lopes for second-most in Dodgers history. Bill Russell holds the team record with 49 postseason games.
Curtis Granderson started 32 of 36 games against right-handed pitchers since joining the Dodgers before sitting this game. Granderson is 1-for-11 (.091) in the postseason after hitting .161/.288/.366 in 132 plate appearances with the Dodgers in the regular season.
Cody Bellinger was moved to second in the lineup, ahead of Justin Turner instead of his usual spot behind Turner. This is the third start of the season for Bellinger hitting second.
Chase Utley starts at second base after Logan Forsythe started in the first two NLCS games.
One constant though remains Austin Barnes, who starts behind the plate for a fifth straight game, including the second time against a right-hander. He has never faced Hendricks, and Yasmani Grandal is 0-for-7 with two walks against him.
“Austin has put forth some good at-bats. Yasi hasn’t had much success against Hendricks,” Dave Roberts said. “The way Austin is receiving, his rapport with pitchers has been elite.”
Roberts said Grandal would likely start Game 4 against Jake Arrieta on Wednesday.
Against Darvish, Kyle Schwarber is back in the lineup for the Cubs, starting in left field with Jason Heyward in right field. Jon Jay starts in center field, his third different outfield position in three games this series.
Schwarber is batting second and Ben Zobrist, who didn’t start in Los Angeles, leads off at second base, giving the Cubs a new top of the batting order at home. Jay and Kris Bryant batted first and second in the first two games of the NLCS for Chicago.
The switch-hitting Zobrist hit .249/.336/.401 as a left-handed batter this season, compared to just .179/.261/.292 batting right-handed. He replaces Javier Baez, who is 0-for-19 with eight strikeouts and two walks this postseason, including 0-for-5 with a walk and three strikeouts during the NLCS.
Turner is having himself quite the postseason, as you might have noticed. He drove in all four Dodgers runs in Game 2 — three on one memorable swing — and with 10 RBI in just five games is the fifth Dodger with 10 or more RBI in a single postseason.
Most RBI in a single postseason, Dodgers
He’s the first with double-digit RBI since Manny Ramirez in 2008. Dusty Baker holds the club record, with 13 RBI in 1977.
In 2016, Turner drove in eight runs in 11 games, and in his career has 22 RBI in 23 playoff games, hitting .377/.478/.636 in the postseason.
Turner homered against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks in 2015, but is 0-for-7 with two walks against him since, and 2-for-12 (.167) against the right-hander in his career.
Perhaps most importantly, Turner is a finalist for the Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award from the American Mustache Institute.