Nats, Dodgers learn game start time when they wake up

Nats, Dodgers learn game start time when they wake up

LOS ANGELES -- It may seem cruel that the 11:43 p.m. PT end to the Giants' 6-5 walk-off win on Monday would necessitate an early day at Dodger Stadium for L.A. and Washington, but many on both teams found a workaround: They simply slept through the Cubs-Giants tilt.

Neither Dusty Baker nor Dave Roberts watched the end of the Cubs-Giants contest -- the outcome of which determined first-pitch time for the other National League Division Series -- to learn that Nationals-Dodgers Game 4 would start at 5 p.m. ET/2 PT today (FS1), as opposed to three hours later.

Both teams were still jet-lagged from a cross-country trip on Sunday night.

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 7 LAD 4, WAS 3 video
Gm 2 Oct. 9 WSH 5, LAD 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 10 WAS 8, LAD 3 video
Gm 4 Oct. 11 LAD 6, WAS 5 video
Gm 5 Oct. 13 LAD 4, WSH 3 video

"We were still on East Coast time. So I watched it up until [Kris] Bryant tied it up [in the top of the ninth inning], and then I turned it off. Had to get my sleep." Baker said. "You want to know the truth? I woke up in the middle of the night, used the bathroom, looked at the ESPN and saw that the Giants had won."

"I made it till about the 11th, and then I got on social media and I figured out who won," Roberts said. "So I set my alarm early, and if it would have been the other way, I would have went back to sleep."

A Cubs win on Monday night would have ended that series and led to an 8 p.m. ET/ 5 PT first pitch for the Dodgers and the Nationals. Joe Panik's 13th inning walk-off hit moved the start time at Dodger Stadium to 5 p.m. ET/2 PT instead, with Game 4 of Cubs-Giants taking over the later slot.

Baker, Roberts, and all of their players knew the other game's impact on their own, but many decided sleep was more important than instantly knowing when they would have to show up for work the next morning.

"My plan was to get a good night of rest and not stay up, and then you know, try to worry about what time the game was," Adrian Gonzalez said. "If I got a good night's sleep, I was going to be fine either way."

Besides not knowing the start time, players on both teams went to sleep without knowing their starter, as neither club announced their Game 4 pitcher after Monday's 8-3 Nationals win. News broke early Tuesday morning that Clayton Kershaw would take the mound for the Dodgers on short rest, while the Nationals would go with rookie Joe Ross.

Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.