The Dodgers have grand designs on finishing off the NLCS on Wednesday night against the Cubs, and have adjusted their lineup accordingly, with both Yasmani Grandal and Curtis Granderson making their first starts of the series.
Grandal started Game 1 of the NLDS against the Diamondbacks and went 0-for-4, but didn’t even appear in any of the next five games.
He is 2-for-9 (.222) in his career against Jake Arrieta, with a double, a home run and two walks. The home run was a two-run shot in Game 3 of the 2016 NLCS at Dodger Stadium.
Game 4 lineups
|1B||Bellinger (L)||LF||Schwarber (L)|
|2B||Utley (L)||RF||Jay (L)|
Granderson makes his first start of the NLCS as well, getting the call in center field. He has faced Arrieta more than twice as much as any other Dodger (40 plate appearances), and is a career .324/.375/.706 with three home runs against him. Though he hasn’t faced Arrieta at all in 2017, and was 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly last year.
This is the third start in center field since joining the Dodgers for Granderson, who started 56 games there this season with the Mets. Granderson this postseason is 1-for-11 (.091) with a run scored and four strikeouts.
Andre Ethier starts again in left field, his first time starting back-to-back games all season. After returning from the disabled list in September Ethier started eight games, but had at least two days in between starts during the month.
With runners in scoring position, Dodgers pitchers have been especially stingy this postseason, holding opposing batters to 1-for-20 (.050) with one walk and nine strikeouts. The only hit was Brandon Drury’s three-run home run against Brandon Morrow in Game 2 of the NLDS.
In the NLCS, the Cubs are 0-for-11 with six strikeouts with runners in scoring position.
Game 3 on TBS generated a 14.4 household rating in Los Angeles, the highest television rating for any Dodgers game dating back to at least 1998.