ST. LOUIS -- With a 4 p.m. CT start time for Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Thursday (on TBS), the Cardinals and Pirates might just have an extra element to combat.
Late-afternoon shadows have given players fits at this ballpark in the past and make it especially tough for hitters to see the ball coming out of a pitcher's hand. It's one reason why the Cardinals limited the number of mid-afternoon start times during the regular season.
"Rooting for clouds," Matt Holliday said. "If it's sunny, it will be no fun for hitters. You hope it's cloudy. If it's not a cloud in the sky, it'll be a challenge. You won't be able to see the spin. It will be like it always is when the shadows kick in."
Twenty-four hours out from Thursday's first pitch, weather.com projected sunshine throughout the afternoon. There is a chance for thunderstorms in the morning.
"I don't really like thinking too much about it, because both teams will have to deal with it, even if it is going to occur," Matt Carpenter said. "If we get some coverage, it shouldn't be an issue. But like I said, it's something you have to deal with, but both teams will have that problem."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.