Why Did Dodgers And Nationals Play At 11 a.m. On Fourth Of July?
Juan Soto, Fourth of July socks, base
Scott Taetsch/USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is as American as apple pie, so it’s only fitting that the national pastime be played in our country’s capital on the Fourth of July. Following a tradition of an early start time, first pitch of Sunday’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals was scheduled for 11:05 a.m ET.

The Nationals began the tradition in 2012, and went into the day 5-3 in such Fourth of July games. The early start was implemented so locals could enjoy Washington D.C.’s other Independence Day festivities.

Sunday’s start time was the Dodgers’ earliest of 2021, and it came on the heels of a night game that experienced a rain delay that lasted nearly two hours. The inopportune timing didn’t sit well with manager Dave Roberts.

“I’ve learned not to question the scheduling,” he said. “Sometimes logic and things when you’re playing don’t seem to make sense. We don’t make the schedule, just kind of try to adhere to it, but not ideal.”

On top of the short turnaround, the Dodgers needed to use a bullpen game in the series finale against the Nationals. Further exacerbating the situation was Clayton Kershaw’s start on Saturday being only four innings because of the rain delay.

The Dodgers added a fresh arm to their roster by recalling Edwin Uceta from Triple-A Oklahoma City, but he did not appear in the 5-1 win.

Muncy upset Dodgers had quick turnaround

After going 2-for-5 with three RBI to help the Dodgers complete their first ever four-game sweep of the Nationals, Max Muncy joined the chorus of those criticizing MLB for their scheduling.

“I don’t know who thought that was ever a good idea to have a 7:15 (p.m. ET) game and follow it up with an 11 a.m. game. That’s probably one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen,” he said.

“That’s how guys get hurt. Thankfully none of that happened today. We were able to go out there and compete, most importantly we got the W and we all stayed healthy through it. It was a tough day for everybody involved. Thankfully there were no injuries. To me that was the most important part.”

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