NLCS G4: Lineups, matchups, FAQ (TBS)

October 15th, 2019

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have a chance to advance to the first World Series in team history on Tuesday night, when they host the Cardinals for Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. Washington has won seven of its first nine postseason games, and dating back to the regular season, is 15-2 in its last 17 games, matching the best stretch in team history.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, will start their attempt to make history of their own and become just the second team in MLB history to overcome a 3-0 deficit. But they have been overmatched by the Nats’ starting pitching so far this series, limited to two runs, both thanks to a pair of misplays, in three games.

Here’s what you need to know for NLCS Game 4:

When is the game and how can I watch it?

Game 4 will be on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on TBS.

All games telecast on TBS, FOX and FS1 will be available to MLB.TV subscribers who are authenticated subscribers to the applicable network through a participating pay-TV provider.

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What are the starting lineups?

Cardinals: After coming off the bench in the first two games of the series, José Martínez found himself in the Game 3 lineup and earned another start by going 2-for-4. The switch-hitting Tommy Edman moved up in the order with a lefty starting for the Nats, as he hit second against the Braves’ Dallas Keuchel in Game 1 of the NL Division Series, and manager Mike Shildt gave Harrison Bader the start in center in place of Dexter Fowler.

Nationals: With Victor Robles healthy again, there was little reason for the Nationals to mix things up against Hudson. No Washington hitter has more than seven career plate appearances against Hudson, who held the Nats to three runs in 13 innings over a pair of starts in May and September. The best results off Hudson came from Anthony Rendon, who is 2-for-4 with a solo homer, and Ryan Zimmerman, who is 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and three RBIs.

Who are the starting pitchers?

Cardinals: This will be just the second postseason start for Dakota Hudson (0-0, 1.93 ERA), yet it will also be his second time taking the mound with the Cardinals’ season at stake. The rookie started Game 4 of the NLDS at Busch Stadium, where the Cards wound up winning in 10 innings to send the series back to Atlanta. Hudson held his own, allowing only one earned run on five hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings. He likely won’t have a particularly long leash on Tuesday given the circumstances, however.

Nationals: Three of Patrick Corbin’s (0-2, 7.56 ERA) four appearances this postseason have come out of the bullpen, so consider him happy to be back on his normal starting routine for Game 4 after being used to retire one batter, Wong, out of the bullpen in the ninth inning of Game 2. Corbin issued five walks but struck out nine in six innings of two-run ball in his only start of the playoffs so far, in Game 1 of the NLDS.

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?

Cardinals: With an off-day on Sunday and a large deficit on Monday, the Cardinals were able to rest their high-leverage relievers: Andrew Miller, Giovanny Gallegos and Carlos Martínez. They also preserved hard-throwing right-hander Ryan Helsley by not using him in Game 3. With the season on the line, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Shildt turn to one of his starting pitchers -- perhaps Miles Mikolas or Adam Wainwright -- if the situation calls for it.

Nationals: The Nats have reason to be confident in their bullpen. They didn’t use either of their top two relievers -- Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson -- in Game 3, meaning both would be working on multiple days of rest. If the Nationals can take another early lead, they’ll rely on those two for six outs or more.

Given their 3-0 series edge, the Nats aren’t likely to mess around with using starting pitchers in relief in this game. They haven’t used any starter but Corbin in relief this series anyway, and he’s starting the game. Then again, it is Max Scherzer’s throw day, so anything is possible.

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?

Cardinals: Right-hander Daniel Ponce de Leon threw two innings in Game 3 and hasn’t worked on consecutive days all season, so don’t expect to see him on the mound. Otherwise, it’s an elimination game, which means all hands on deck.

Nationals: None. The Nationals jumped out to such a large advantage in Game 3 they were able to avoid using Hudson and Doolittle. The only relievers they did use -- Fernando Rodney and Tanner Rainey -- should be available if needed in Game 4.

Any injuries of note?

Cardinals: None

Nationals: None

Who is hot and who is not?

Cardinals: Martínez is the lone St. Louis hitter who would even remotely qualify as “hot” in this series, as he went 4-for-6 with a double in the first three games. But in Game 3, the Cards did see necessary signs of life from the bats of Ozuna (2-for-4 with a double) and DeJong (2-for-3). They will need more, however, out of leadoff man Fowler (0-for-4, three strikeouts) and Goldschmidt (0-for-4, four strikeouts).

Nationals: Rendon has been smoldering all postseason, recording at least one hit in seven straight games. But even he hasn’t been as hot as Kendrick, who has already driven in more runs -- nine -- than anyone in a single postseason in Nationals history. All of them have come in his last seven games, in which he is 10-for-30 with five extra-base hits.

Anything else fans might want to know?

Expect significant support from Nationals fans, who showed up early on Monday and stayed till the end. The paid attendance for that game was 43,675; it could be even higher on Tuesday as the Nats look to lock down the first pennant in franchise history.