With the Yankees coming off their first win of the American League Division Series presented by Doosan -- but still facing elimination down 2-1 to the Indians -- New York's starting lineup for Game 4 will feature its first real shakeup of the postseason.The players are largely the same, but
With the Yankees coming off their first win of the American League Division Series presented by Doosan -- but still facing elimination down 2-1 to the Indians -- New York's starting lineup for Game 4 will feature its first real shakeup of the postseason.
The players are largely the same, but the Yanks have juggled the heart of their batting order entering tonight's game at Yankee Stadium, as New York ace Luis Severino prepares to square off against the Tribe's Trevor Bauer.
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Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius will swap places in the lineup, with Sanchez moving into the cleanup spot for Game 4 and Gregorius moving up to bat third for just the fifth time this season and the first time since Aug. 6. Greg Bird -- the hero of Sunday's Game 3, thanks to his tiebreaking seventh-inning homer -- moves into the fifth spot in the order, with Starlin Castro dropping one spot into the No. 6 position. The move, alternating right- and left-handed hitters, makes it tougher for Cleveland's bullpen to match up.
"You always talk about breaking up the lefties, but we're breaking up our righties today because of the power they bring out from their righties, the stuff they bring out from their right-handers," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game.
Chase Headley will draw his first start since Game 1 at designated hitter, after Jacoby Ellsbury went hitless as New York's DH in Games 2 and 3. Headley pinch-hit for Ellsbury late in both games, but he's also looking for his first hit of the series.
The Indians, meanwhile, are still without Edwin Encarnacion, not yet fully recovered from a sprained right ankle suffered in the first inning of Game 2. Michael Brantley will again start at DH for the Tribe, but he will bat sixth -- one spot higher than he did in Game 3.
"We're working toward [Encarnacion being available to pinch-hit]," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Monday afternoon. "I would say, depending on how the rest of the day goes, we're not going to have an answer. If you see him strolling up to the plate, that means he's available."
The Indians also inserted Lonnie Chisenhall into the starting lineup in left field, giving them an extra left-handed bat against the right-handed Severino. Austin Jackson, who had started the previous two games, will come off the bench in Game 4.
For the Yanks, Brett Gardner will continue to lead off, with Aaron Judge, who is 0-for-10 with eight strikeouts in the ALDS, again batting second. Judge will be followed by Gregorius, Sanchez, Bird and Castro, batting third through sixth. Headley will bat seventh, with Todd Frazier batting eighth and Aaron Hicks batting ninth.
Cleveland will keep the top of its order the same, with Francisco Lindor leading off, followed by Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez and Jay Bruce, who has moved into the cleanup spot in Encarnacion's absence. Carlos Santana will bat fifth, Brantley sixth and Chisenhall seventh. Roberto Perez will bat eighth, starting his third game of the series at catcher over Yan Gomes, and Giovanny Urshela will bat ninth.
- Francisco Lindor, SS
- Jason Kipnis, CF
- Jose Ramirez, 2B
- Jay Bruce, RF
- Carlos Santana, 1B
- Michael Brantley, DH
- Lonnie Chisenhall, LF
- Roberto Perez, C
- Giovanny Urshela, 3B
Trevor Bauer, P
- Brett Gardner, LF
- Aaron Judge, RF
- Didi Gregorius, SS
- Gary Sanchez, C
- Greg Bird, 1B
- Starlin Castro, 2B
- Chase Headley, 3B
- Todd Frazier, DH
- Aaron Hicks, CF
Luis Severino, P
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.