I’ve decided to extend my ‘early games’ preview service to the weekend, subject to other commitments getting in the way. For newcomers, the idea is to help UK-based baseball fans by previewing games that are scheduled to start before midnight UK time. As such, all times are listed in British Summer Time (BST).
18.05. Reds @ Cubs – Johnny Cueto (8-6), Kevin Hart (1-1)
18.05. A’s @ Yankees – Gio Gonzalez (1-2), Andy Pettitte (8-5)
18.07. Rays @ Blue Jays – David Price (3-4), Brian Tallet (5-6)
21.05. White Sox @ Tigers – Gavin Floyd (8-6), Edwin Jackson
21.05. Cardinals @ Phillies – Kyle Lohse (4-6), Rodrigo Lopez (2-0)
21.10. Indians @ Mariners – Jeremy Sowers (2-7), Erik Bedard (5-2)
21.10. Twins @ Angels – Nick Blackburn (8-4), Matt Palmer (7-1).
A good collection of seven games, with a bias towards the junior circuit. The Yankees are going for their ninth win in a row and you wouldn’t bet against them today. Gio Gonzalez had an absolute nightmare in his last outing (2.2 innings, 11 earned runs conceded) and heading to Yankee Stadium isn’t an easy way to bounce back. Maybe the challenge will be the making of him? This A’s fan certainly hopes so.
Elsewhere, David Price takes the mound for the Rays in Toronto, although expect the commentators to spend a good portion of the game discussing the ongoing Roy Halladay situation. Gavin Floyd and Edwin Jackson may also be overshadowed by another pitcher, in this case Mark Buehrle and his recent ‘perfecto’. The Cardinals-Phillies game will be played out over talk of a completed trade (Matt Holliday went 4-for-5 in his debut with the Cards last night) and a possible trade (the Phillies remain the team most linked with Halladay).
MLB.com is listing the Angels’ probable pitcher as ‘To Be Determined’ as I write this; however the Twins have just published their official press notes for today’s game and they have Matt Palmer down for the Halos. L.A. are riding a seven-game winning streak heading into this one.
Highlights from the later games include a great young pitching match-up in Milwaukee (Tommy Hanson against Yovani Gallardo at 00.05), a Jon Lester start against the Orioles (00.10) and Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk pitching at Dodger Stadium for the Marlins (03.10).
All the above games can be followed via various resources on MLB.com (Gameday, Gameday Audio and MLB.tv. ESPN America subscribers can watch the Rays-Blue Jays (as chosen by the viewers) and the Twins-Angels games live, followed by Rangers-Royals at midnight.