The Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals square off Tuesday evening with the Nats looking to complete a four-game sweep of the National League Championship Series. They lead 3-0 after three straight dominant pitching performances from Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strasburg. The three starters have combined to pitcher 21 2⁄3 innings and given up one unearned run on nine hits and three walks, while striking out 28.
The Nationals could finish it off behind Patrick Corbin on Tuesday, but if not, Wednesday could bring a weather delay. First pitch for Game 5 is scheduled for 4:08 p.m. and rain could create problems. The weather report for the area around Nationals Park is calling for light rain starting at noon, and then picking up from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The early start provides plenty of time to get through a delay, but it raises some questions for pre-game preparation. The starting pitchers have their routines, and would want to know well in advance if they should hold off getting prepared for the game. If they start warming up and then find out a delay is happening, it throws off rhythm and creates all sorts of issues.
Of course, if the Nationals complete the sweep Tuesday evening, none of that will matter.