Here are the lineups for Game 4 of the ALDS between the Orioles and Yankees, in New York:
BALTIMORE ORIOLES NEW YORK YANKEES
1. Nate McLouth, LF 1. Derek Jeter, DH
2. J.J. Hardy, SS 2. Ichiro Suzuki, LF
3. Chris Davis, RF 3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Adam Jones, CF 4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Matt Wieters, C 5. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
6. Jim Thome, DH 6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Mark Reynolds, 1B 7. Russell Martin, C
8. Ryan Flaherty, 2B 8. Curtis Granderson, CF
9. Manny Machado 3B 9. Jayson Nix, SS
SP Joe Saunders, LHP SP Phil Hughes, RHP
With his team’s back up against the wall, Buck Showalter will use the same lineup he did in Game 3. Joe Saunders is back on the hill for the Orioles after allowing one run over 5 2/3 innings in the one-game Wild Card playoff game against the Rangers last Friday.
The Yankees have made a number of changes following their dramatic victory last night. Derek Jeter is in the lineup after leaving last night’s game with an injury to his left foot, but he’ll serve as the designated hitter. Meanwhile, Jayson Nix will fill in at shortstop. Alex Rodriguez is back at third base after serving as the DH last night and later being pinch-hit for by Raul Ibanez, but he’ll slide down to the fifth spot in the order. Mark Teixeira will hit third while Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson both slide down a spot. Notable by his absence is Ibanez, who will once again be available off the bench as a late-inning pinch-hit threat.
Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.
It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.
While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.
If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.