Much as I tend to put baseball above most things in my life on most days, it’s difficult as a British sports fan not to look at today’s slate of MLB games and have your first thought be: will I be following the games on the high of Andy Murray winning Wimbledon or a bit despondent at him falling so close but so far from glory?
With the Men’s Final scheduled to start at 14.00, it’s quite possible that the match will still be ongoing when the day’s baseball begins at 18.05.
I remember being at a ballgame in Rotterdam in 2009 trying to translate the public address updates of the ongoing epic Wimbledon Final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. Federer ultimately won that game, and his fifteenth Grand Slam title, 16-14 in the fifth set after approximately 4 hrs 20 minutes or so, one year after he had lost a 4 hour 48 minute final against Rafael Nadal.
I suspect today’s Final will be one of two extremes: either a 3-0 win for Federer or a roller-coaster five-set thriller in which Murray might just come out on top. If it does turn into the latter then I won’t feel guilty at leaving baseball to one side – just this once – and concentrating on the tennis.
It’s not just any old day in MLB though. Today marks the final day of the first half to the season before the All-Star Break, with the MLB regular season getting back underway next Friday. All teams will be hoping to head into the Break on the back of a victory and there are some good match-ups to enjoy.
All times are in BST.
18.05. Tampa Bay at Cleveland (Shields – McAllister)
18.05. Kansas City at Detroit (Teaford – Scherzer)
18.10. Chicago Cubs at NY Mets (Dempster – Niese)
18.35. Colorado at Washington (Guthrie – Zimmermann)
18.35. Atlanta at Philadelphia (Jurrjens – Worley)
18.35. San Francisco at Pittsburgh (Lincecum – Burnett) *ESPN America
19.05. Milwaukee at Houston (Estrada – Lyles)
19.10. Toronto at Chicago White Sox (Cecil – Axelrod)
19.15. Miami at St. Louis (Sanchez – Kelly)
20.35. Baltimore at LA Angels (Chen – Mills)
21.05. Seattle at Oakland (Hernandez – Colon)
21.05. Cincinnati at San Diego (Cueto – Marquis)
21.10. LA Dodgers at Arizona (Capuano – Bauer)
00.05. Minnesota at Texas (De Vries – Oswalt)
01.05. NY Yankees at Boston (Nova – Lester) *ESPN America
The most intriguing pitching match-up for me will take place in Pittsburgh. A.J. Burnett’s debut for the Pirates was delayed as he started the season on the Disabled List, but he has been worth the wait as he’s performed well most times out ever since. His most recent appearance, against the Astros on Tuesday, was an exception as he allowed six earned runs over five innings; however that will not give the Giants a match-up advantage on paper.
Tim Lincecum’s relative struggles so far this season have been one of the big talking points in the National League and after a couple of promising starts against the A’s and Dodgers he was rocked by the Nationals for seven earned runs in 3.1 innings last time out.
The other starting pitcher worth checking in on can be found in the game at 21.10 between the Dodgers and D-Backs. Trevor Bauer hasn’t found things easy in his first two Major League starts, but he’s a prodigious talent and this is our first chance to watch him pitch live at a convenient time for those of us on this side of the pond.
Alternatively ESPN America susbcribers can watch some of the best young talent that hasn’t been promoted to the Big Leagues as yet, as they will be broadcasting the MLB All-Star Futures Game live from 22.00.
All of these games are available to watch live via the MLB.TV subscription at MLB.com. ESPN America will be showing two MLB games with the Futures Game in between, as stated above.