Washington sun could be a factor in Game 3

Washington sun could be a factor in Game 3

WASHINGTON -- The weather for Game 3 of the National League Division Series between the Nationals and Cardinals is expected to be sunny with temperatures around 70 degrees.

That may not be a good thing for either team. The last time the Nationals played on a sunny afternoon at Nationals Park was on Sept. 23 and 24 against the Brewers. On Sept. 23, Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper lost a ball in the sun.

Three innings later, the game was tied at two when Milwaukee took the lead against Nats reliever Ryan Mattheus in the seventh inning. One of the runs scored when Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez hit a routine fly ball to right fielder Jayson Werth, but Werth lost the ball in the sun and it dropped in front of him for a hit, scoring Aramis Ramirez. The Nationals ended up losing the game, 6-2.

The sun played a role the next day in the Nationals' 12-4 victory, but this time it ended up hurting Brewers right-hander Marco Estrada. With runners on second and third and two outs in a 2-1 game in favor of Washington, Werth hit what looked like a routine fly ball to center field. But it wasn't routine for Gomez, who lost the ball in the sun and let it drop in front of him for a two-run double.

Nats manager Davey Johnson said he is not concerned about the sun, but said it could be a factor by 4 p.m. ET.

"The time before was around four o'clock; that was a bad time with sun," Johnson said. "The other team had problems with it, too. I'm glad it's not a four o'clock start. I think we're at one o'clock."

Harper doesn't seem be concerned about the sun either.

"It's going to be hard for both teams, but we try to work through it as best as we can. Hopefully, good things will happen," Harper said.