We’ve got four early games from MLB this evening with the home teams trying to build on their victories from yesterday. The White Sox and Yankees provide an alternative to the second half of the Man Utd-Arsenal game early on, followed by three intriguing games starting just after 21.00.
18.05. White Sox @ Yankees – Contreras (5-12), Mitre (2-1)
21.05. Rays @ Tigers – Price (6-6), Robertson (1-0)
21.10. Dodgers @ Reds – Haeger (1-1), Maloney (0-2)
21.10. Mets @ Cubs – Parnell (3-6), Dempster (7-7)
All times in BST.
Jose Contreras is pencilled in to make a start against his former team today for the White Sox, although Ozzie Guillen will send him out there in hope rather than expectation. And those hopes won’t be too high. The Cuban has struggled badly for much of the season and it appeared as though his last disaster, a 2.2 inning outing against the Red Sox on Monday, had booked him a place in the bullpen. He will probably get a temporary reprieve today in a needs-must situation for the Sox.
That’s not a great way to go into a game against the Yankees, particularly as they won last night’s series opener 5-2 with a tenth inning walk-off three-run homer by Robinson Cano.
Detroit defeated the Rays 6-2 yesterday, largely thanks to a five-run fourth inning that ruined Matt Garza’s start for Tampa Bay. David Price will take the ball today in the now Scott Kazmir-less Rays rotation. He will match up against Nate Robertson who returns from a two-month spell on the sidelines following elbow surgery.
With the Rockies and Giants meeting again this weekend, the Dodgers have a good opportunity to put a bit of distance between themselves and at least one of their rivals. They didn’t take that opportunity last night as they lost 4-2 to the Reds. That made it five wins on the spin for Cincinnati, who would also have been boosted by a strong eight inning start by their once highly touted prospect Homer Bailey. Today’s game will be started by two unheralded pitchers: knuckleballer Charlie Haeger for the Dodgers (who was terrific in his last outing against the Cubs) and Matt Maloney for the Reds.
Finally, the Cubs staged a late four-run rally in yesterday’s early game at Wrigley to defeat the Mets 5-2. It was a strange game, with Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley making more mistakes in the field but silencing the boos (for a few moments at least) by both going 3-for-3 at the plate. Let’s see how long they can retain the affections of the Wrigley faithful today.
The rest of the teams will play in the early hours. There are plenty of good games in prospect, not least the Rockies-Giants contest at 02.05, with the match-up between Derek Lowe and Cliff Lee looking like the pick of the bunch. Braves-Phillies starts at five past midnight.
All the above games can be followed via various resources on MLB.com (Gameday, Gameday Audio and MLB.tv). ESPN America will broadcast the Rangers-Twins game live at midnight.