LEADING OFF: Cubs try to oust Washington in Game 4 of NLDS
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
Cubs fans are hoping to go wild as the World Series champions try to close out Washington in Game 4 of the NLDS. Rain is in the forecast and Jake Arrieta is set to start for Chicago — he hasn’t pitched since lasting just three innings Sept. 26 after tweaking his hamstring three weeks earlier.
Tanner Roark starts for the Nationals with his team trailing 2-1. He is from Wilmington, Illinois, about 60 miles south of Chicago, and grew up rooting for the Cubs. He is 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA in five career games at Wrigley Field.
Justin Verlander and the Astros earned a little extra rest by beating Boston in four games of the AL Division Series. They’ll now wait to see where they open the AL Championship Series on Friday, either at Cleveland or at home vs. the Yankees. Dallas Keuchel is lined up to start the opener for Houston. Verlander threw 40 pitches Monday in his first pro relief appearance, helping win Game 4 at Fenway Park.
After a second straight early playoff exit, Red Sox manager John Farrell enters the offseason facing questions about his job security. Boston has won consecutive AL East titles — a first for the franchise — but hasn’t been past the ALDS since winning the World Series in 2013, Farrell’s first season. Farrell insisted Monday that he’s the right man to get the Red Sox over this current postseason stumbling block.
“Yes, I feel confident in that,” Farrell said. “I know that we have got opportunity to access where we are as a team. I can’t begin to talk about what the offseason plans are, and what changes may be realized, but there’s still good things that are going on here.”