Reason: They actually looked at Tuesday’s weather forecast, which calls for rain in the evening. From a MLB press release:
Major League Baseball announced tonight that Tuesday’s Game Four of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the host Chicago Cubs on TBS will have a first pitch time of 5:38 p.m. (ET)/4:38 p.m. (CT), regardless of the outcome of tonight’s NLDS Game Three between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Forecasts for Chicago on Tuesday evening led MLB to establish the 4:38 p.m. local first pitch time at Wrigley Field.
Smart thinking on MLB’s part — kudos to them for doing this regardless of what happens in Monday night’s Dodgers/Diamondbacks game.
This is likely not great news for many of you who work usual daytime hours, whether you are going to the game or just watching it on TV — as it’s kind of the end of the work day, an oddball time when they wouldn’t really start a game during the regular season. But the fact that this game is now officially a late-afternoon start increases the likelihood that they’ll be able to get the game in before heavier rain comes into the Chicago area.
Given the fact that Monday’s Red Sox/Astros game in Boston was played in light-to-moderate rain for much of that afternoon, I’d think they will try to play Game 4 of the Cubs/Nats series Tuesday even if it’s raining, unless there’s lightning or a torrential downpour, neither of which is in the forecast.
If rain somehow prevents Tuesday’s game from being played, it would be played Wednesday and the teams would simply lose their off day if they had to play Game 5, which would still be in Washington Thursday.
I will have a full recap of Monday’s Game 3 win at 8 a.m. CT Tuesday morning.