The Nationals and Cardinals will once again have deal with the "Sun Monster" in Game 4 of the NLDS, but if the series requires a fifth and decisive game, the two teams will finally get a chance to play in primetime.
Major League Baseball announced starting times for the rest of the series this afternoon, revealing that Game 4 is tentatively scheduled to begin at 4:07 p.m. Thursday, with a potential Game 5 scheduled for 8:37 p.m. Friday.
There's a strong chance the start time for Game 4, however, will be pushed back one hour to 5:07 p.m., a change that will be enacted if the Tigers clinch their ALDS against the A's without needing a Game 5. Detroit leads that series 2-0 entering Game 3 late tonight in Oakland, with Game 4 late tomorrow night.
Thus, the first four games of the Nationals' first-ever playoff series will all begin in daylight, with Game 3 tomorrow afternoon scheduled for a 1:07 p.m. start. The early first pitch and the forecast of clear skies could lead to problems for both teams' center and right fielders when trying to pick up flyballs against the sun above the stadium roof.
The sun could be an issue again early in Game 4, though if the start is pushed to 5:07 p.m., it likely would have less impact and should set behind the upper deck early in the game.
If the series extends to a Game 5 on Friday, the Nationals and Cardinals will get center stage with their first primetime game, with the Yankees and Orioles finally pushed up to a late-afternoon start should their ALDS reach that do-or-die game.
Though Game 3 of the Nationals' series tomorrow is being televised only on MLB Network, both Games 4 and 5 will return to TBS.