ESPN has released the September schedule for Sunday Night Baseball, and on September 1st they picked up the New York Mets taking on the Washington Nationals. One issue of picking that game is the Mets play in Atlanta the very next afternoon.
The Sunday game has a first pitch at 8:05 PM eastern, the usual start time for SNB. The first pitch scheduled for the game against the Atlanta Braves is 1:10 PM eastern.
That’s a very short turnaround time for travel, and manager Terry Collins isn’t happy about it.
From Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:
“Can that be reviewed?” Terry Collins quipped. “I’m going to challenge that.”
Collins added, referring to his players: “A lot of the guys in there have never done it, but years ago we used to show up and strap it on and play. We’ll have to do it again. We’ll go right from the airport to the park, and delay the game by 10 minutes so our pitcher can get ready to start the game.”
In fairness to ESPN, they’re put in a slightly tough situation with Labor Day featuring a slew of day games. But this was almost the worst-case scenario for any team. And why the Mets and Nationals, who are both way back behind the Braves in the NL East?
One better matchup would have been the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees. The Yankees have a day game the next day, but they don’t have to travel anywhere. It’s also a better matchup with both teams trying to make a push to the postseason.