With the Dodgers on the verge of clinching their first World Series berth in 29 years, manager Dave Roberts made two changes to his lineup for Game 4 of the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World (9 p.m. ET/8 CT/6 PT at Wrigley Field on TBS). Curtis Granderson
With the Dodgers on the verge of clinching their first World Series berth in 29 years, manager Dave Roberts made two changes to his lineup for Game 4 of the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World (9 p.m. ET/8 CT/6 PT at Wrigley Field on TBS). Curtis Granderson is slotted into the sixth spot as the center fielder, and Yasmani Grandal will catch and bat seventh.
Meanwhile, with the defending-World Series-champion Cubs facing an elimination game, manager Joe Maddon replaced Benjamin Zobrist with Javier Baez at second base as he shuffles the batting order for the fourth straight game.
Granderson is a career .324 hitter (11-for-34) with two doubles, a triple and three home runs against Cubs Game 4 starter Jacob Arrieta. Grandal, while not having much success against Arrieta (2-for-9, .222), does have a homer against the right-hander, and Game 3 starting catcher Austin Barnes has never faced him.
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The Dodgers will have Chris Taylor leading off and playing shortstop in place of an injured Corey Seager (back), followed by Cody Bellinger at first base, Justin Turner at third base, Yasiel Puig in right field, Andre Ethier in left field after Ethier homered in Game 3, Granderson in center, Grandal behind the plate, Chase Utley at second base and left-hander Alex Wood on the mound.
- Chris Taylor, SS
- Cody Bellinger, 1B
- Justin Turner, 3B
- Yasiel Puig, RF
- Andre Ethier, LF
- Curtis Granderson, CF
- Yasmani Grandal, C
- Chase Utley, 2B
- Alex Wood, P
Looking to awaken a stagnant offense that has hit just .172 this postseason, by far the worst among the four clubs remaining, Albert Almora Jr. will lead off for the Cubs, followed by Kyle Schwarber, who provided the lone run in Tuesday's Game 3 with a first-inning homer off Yu Darvish. Almora is hitting a tied-for club-best .250 this series, and he hit a double on Tuesday. Left-handed-hitting Jason Heyward was left out of the lineup due to the matchup with Dodgers southpaw Wood.
Kristopher Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras will round out the heart of the order for the second straight game, followed by Addison Russell, Baez and Jonathan Jay. Zobrist, who is hitless this series in six at-bats, will be available off the bench. The Cubs have just one hit in their past 28 at-bats with runners in scoring position, and the obstacle likely won't get much easier.
Wood, who boasted the Majors' fifth-best regular-season ERA at 2.72, tossed five scoreless innings against the Cubs on May 26. Should Wood be relieved, all that awaits is an L.A. bullpen that hasn't given up a run over its last 16 2/3 innings.
For the Cubs, Arrieta is making what could be his final start for Chicago. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner acknowledged as much on Tuesday.
"Very optimistic and looking forward to making a couple more here," Arrieta said. "We're in a position where we're down … [but] we've been pretty good for an extended period of time, being able to win multiple games in a row, and that's exactly what we intend to do."
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Javier Baez, 2B
- Jon Jay, RF
- Jake Arrieta, P
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.