Update 4:18 p.m. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 in Game 5 in L.A. as the Cardinals failed to wrap up a spot in the World Series.
Adrian Gonzalez homered twice and Zack Greinke gave the Dodgers the clutch performance they needed, trimming St. Louis' lead to 3-2 in the NL championship series. That 3-1 lead the Cards had going into Game 5 was the same lead the Cardinals enjoyed over the Giants last season before losing the final three games.
Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis also went deep for the Dodgers, who rediscovered their power stroke just in time to save their season. They held in the ninth, when St. Louis scored twice off closer Kenley Jansen before he struck out pinch-hitter Adron Chambers with two on to end it.
The best-of-seven series shifts back to St. Louis for Game 6 on Friday night, when ace Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start for the Dodgers against rookie Michael Wacha.
When those two squared off in Game 2, the Cardinals won 1-0 on an unearned run.
The Cards are seeking a second World Series title in three years.
Previously: Many baseball fans in Los Angeles are facing a dilemma Wednesday: Report to work? Or cheer on the Dodgers in a critical game 5 in the National League Championship Series?
The reason for this conundrum is that television rules sports, especially in the playoffs. So start times are only announced with a few days notice. The last two Dodgers home games started at 5 p.m. But Wednesday's first pitch is just after 1 p.m.
For some, the decision was easy, thanks to understanding bosses.
Chuck Sanchez of Whittier was at Dodger Stadium Tuesday night. He said he would be back at the ballpark soon after the gates open.
"I'll be here at 11 o'clock," Sanchez said. When asked how he was able to get the day off: "I'm a Dodger fan. I'm allowed."
Actually, Sanchez is a production manager at a plastics company and has attended over 60 games this year alone. His boss not only gave him the day off, but his co-workers get to start the day early.
"So they get off earlier and they won't miss so much of the game," Sanchez said.
For those in less understanding workplaces, there's always another option: The white lie.
"I just told them it was a family emergency," said Christian Cage. "It's cool."
Cage is a stuntman who, despite growing up in San Francisco, became a diehard Dodgers fan when he saw Kirk Gibson's famous home run 25 years ago in the World Series. The team is just three wins away from returning and he's locked in.
"They haven't really done anything since they won the World Series in '88," Cage said while at the ballpark in Chavez Ravine. "I'm not going to miss this. No way."
If the Dodgers season ends Wednesday with a loss to St. Louis, Cage and scores of other Dodgers fans plan to be there from the first swing through the last pitch. Work can wait until tomorrow.