As the 2017 NLCS shifts to Wrigley Field for Game 3 on Tuesday evening, many fans of the Dodgers knew the Los Angeles lineup would take a different look to face righty Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs, however, there were still a few surprises when skipper Dave Roberts finished writing out the card several hours before the onset.
First and foremost, Cody Bellinger slides into the No. 2 hole, while Justin Turner slots back into his normal No. 3 slot. The super-sizzling Yasiel Puig jumps up in the order to bat cleanup, while Andre Ethier gets his first start of the playoffs batting fifth and playing left field.
Veteran second baseman Chase Utley also starts for the first time in the NLCS and will bat sixth. Surprisingly, Austin Barnes gets the nod over Yasmani Grandal yet again behind the dish at hits seventh. And Joc Pederson is awarded a start in center field batting eighth, while Chris Taylor stays atop the order but moves in to play shortstop.
Right-hander Yu Darvish will take the mound for his second start of the 2017 postseason and the fourth of his career. Darvish allowed just one run on two hits in 5.0 innings with seven strikeouts in his Game 3 NLDS start against the Diamondbacks, as he recorded his first career postseason win to complete the Dodger sweep over Arizona.
In three career playoff starts, Darvish has gone 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA over 16-2/3 innings and has held hitters to a .197 average. In his postseason career, he has struck out 18
batters against just one walk, while posting a 0.78 WHIP. He went 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA over 49-2/3 innings and punched out 61 batters against just 13 walks, while limiting the
opposition to a .235 average in nine starts since being acquired by the Dodgers at the July 31 trade deadline. Overall, the four-time All-Star went 10-12 in 31 combined starts with Texas and Los Angeles this season and posted a 3.86 ERA, while striking out 209 batters against 58 walks.
Darvish has made one career start against the Cubs on July 16, 2016 as a member of the Rangers. He allowed just two runs on two hits in 4-1/3 innings with nine strikeouts, as he
recorded the loss in Texas’ 3-1 defeat.
The Cubs have also made wholesale changes to their lineup, most notably inserting veteran Ben Zobrist into the leadoff spot to play second base. Kyle Schwarber comes back in to play left field and hit second, while the versatile Jon Jay shifts into center field.
- Taylor SS
- Bellinger 1B
- Turner 3B
- Puig RF
- Ethier LF
- Utley 2B
- Barnes C
- Pederson CF
- Darvish P
- Zobrist 2B
- Schwarber LF
- Bryant 3B
- Rizzo 1B
- Contreras C
- Jay CF
- Russell SS
- Heyward RF
- Hendricks P
First pitch is slated for 6:01 p.m. Los Angeles time.
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