Cubs-Nationals Game 5 NLDS lineups: It's elimination game time in D.C.
Win or go home is the mantra for both the Cubs and Nationals in Game 5. Here's how they line up
For two of the best teams in baseball, it's all come to this. One game. The winner moves on to face the 104-win Dodgers in the NLCS while the loser goes home for the offseason, left pondering how it lost at least one game in the series (one could make an argument Games 2 and 3 felt like the opposite team should've won).
. Onto the lineups.
Visiting Cubs (2-2)
- Jon Jay, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Albert Almora, CF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javier Baez, 2B
- Kyle Hendricks, RHP
The surprise here is no Ben Zobrist. It's certainly justifiable, but Joe Maddon hasn't shown much willingness to sit him in big games until this one, the biggest of the season. Zobrist is joined on the bench by powerful bats in Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber. The alignment seen in the starting lineup is probably the best possible defensive unit the Cubs can reasonably put together, so perhaps that's the line of thinking. Expect Game 3 starter Jose Quintana to be available out of the bullpen, too.
Home Nationals (2-2)
- Trea Turner, SS
- Jayson Werth, LF
- Bryce Harper, RF
- Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
- Daniel Murphy, 2B
- Anthony Rendon, 3B
- Matt Wieters, C
- Michael Taylor, CF
- Gio Gonzalez, LHP
Starting pitchers Max Scherzer and Tanner Roark are available out of the bullpen, so expect to see some drama and likely an early hook from Gonzalez, unless he's really dialed in. As for the lineup, Dusty Baker starts the same eight position players as he has all series. This is the same lineup that he used in Game 4, so he's going with the ol' "stick with what works" mentality. It seems like Howie Kendrick in left field would give them a better chance to win at this point, but Baker doesn't like to change much. Kendrick will be a big bench bat along with Adam Lind.
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