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NLDS Game 4 Preview: Cubs vs. Nationals, Tuesday 10/10, 4:30 CT

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The Cubs can wrap up the division series with a win today.

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Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

You will need this today:

For the amateur meteorologists out there who like to check their phone weather app and tell everyone that it’s going to rain because the hourly chance says 90 percent or 100 percent, a reminder:

Just remember — that’s why they call them “forecasts.” Further, if you weren’t watching, Monday’s Red Sox/Astros game in Boston was played through a light-to-moderate rain for much of the afternoon.

I believe they will play this game today to its conclusion, unless there’s lightning or a torrential downpour, neither of which is expected. If for any reason the game is postponed, it would be played Wednesday (time TBD) and the teams would thus lose their off day if they have to play Game 5 Thursday. Same thing if the game is started, there’s a delay and it can’t be continued: It would be suspended and completed Wednesday, time TBD.

Bottom line, in my opinion: They’ll play.

One note left over from Monday’s game: The Cubs are the third team to win a postseason game after they were no-hit through six innings. Others: Dodgers over Yankees, 1947 World Series Game 4 and Athletics over Orioles, 1974 ALCS Game 4. In both those cases, the winning team had just one hit.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Jay CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Contreras C, Zobrist RF, Schwarber LF, Russell SS, Baez 2B, Arrieta P

Nationals lineup:

Turner SS, Werth LF, Harper RF, Zimmerman 1B, Murphy 2B, Rendon 3B, Wieters C, Taylor CF, Roark P

Jake Arrieta vs. Tanner Roark

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Arrieta has pitched just twice since he hurt his hamstring in Pittsburgh September 4. The first was a pretty good five-inning outing in Milwaukee September 21 — one run allowed, a homer by Domingo Santana. Then he had a rough outing in a potential clinching game in St. Louis September 26, three innings, five runs (three earned), 67 pitches.

After that one it was announced that Jake would skip his final regular-season start, which would have been the last day of the season.

So he hasn’t thrown in game action in 15 days. He, and the team, say that he’s 100 percent, and hopefully the two extra weeks off got his hamstring back healthy again, because Jake was on a second-half run that was excellent. July and August combined: 11 starts, 1.69 ERA, 0.952 WHIP.

His one start against the Nats this year? Well, you probably don’t want to look at the boxscore, because it was pretty ugly, his second-worst start of the year by Game Score. That was in Washington, and Jake’s been better at Wrigley this year by a fairly significant margin. Hopefully that holds up today.

Tanner Roark, a native of downstate Wilmington who played his college ball at the University of Illinois, shut down the Cubs pretty good in his one start against them this year, August 4 at Wrigley Field. He allowed two runs in 6⅓ innings, both of those runs scoring on a home run by Javier Baez.

He also had a good start against the Cubs last year at Wrigley, May 8, 2016, allowing just one unearned run in six innings.

Overall against the Cubs, though, he has a 4.06 ERA in seven career appearances (six starts). And he’s been mostly mediocre this year; his ERA has not been below 4.41 since early June. Last five appearances of the year: 5.84 ERA, 1.419 WHIP in 24⅔ innings.

Current Cubs are hitting just. 215 (17-for-79) against Roark, but five of those hits are home runs (Baez, Kris Bryant, Leonys Martin and two by Anthony Rizzo).

Today's game is on TBS. Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, Sam Ryan.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday (classic mode) (Note: Going forward, I am going to link to the “classic” Gameday here because MLB.com broke the links I used to use to get to their “new” Gameday. If you click on this link, you can then click on “New Gameday” at the bottom of the page to get to the updated version. Note that the “classic” Gameday won’t load until just before game time.)

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Nationals site Federal Baseball. If you do go there to interact with Nationals fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Get tickets to Cubs games from our partner StubHub here.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Poll

Who has the better beard?

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    Jake Arrieta
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    Stephen Strasburg
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