The Pittsburgh Pirates are facing a game that starts at an odd time. Manager Derek Shelton isn’t hiding his concern.
“It’s not just an 11:30 game,” Shelton said in an interview ahead of the Pirates’ home game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 4, and he’s worried about the series finale a day later.
The series finale a day later will start at 11:35 a.m. local time. This is not a typical major league game time.
The reason for the odd start time is that the game is being broadcast exclusively by Peacock, an OTT service operated by US public broadcaster NBC.
Since last year, NBC has been exclusively broadcasting one game per week at an early hour under a $30 million annual rights deal with Major League Baseball. This time, the game between St. Louis and Pittsburgh was chosen.
In professional sports, broadcasters are the “king of the hill,” so the clubs have no choice but to comply, but it’s not going to be easy.
“The game is at 11:30, but the players have to start preparing between 9:30 and 45 minutes,” Shelton said. It’s the first time since spring training that we’ve had to prepare this early,” Shelton said, adding that the players have been forced to deal with unfamiliar situations.
As for the routine, “All training will be done inside. As much as possible, we will postpone all training until it’s time to play. It’s still going to feel different. It’s still going to feel different because it’s two hours earlier than our normal Sunday home game time.”
“I have to go to bed as early as possible today, 메이저놀이터 which won’t be easy. It’s not going to be easy because it’s our normal game time and we just got back from the West Coast trip.”
The other good news is that the opposition will be starting left-hander Jordan Montgomery one day and right-hander Miles Myles-Micholas the next. The lefty-righty matchup allowed the team to distribute the players’ minutes accordingly.
In this game, Pittsburgh used all of its available right-handed hitters against the lefty Montgomery. Andrew McCutchen (designated hitter), Brian Reynolds (center field), Conor Jo (left field), Carlos Santana (first base), Rodolfo Castro (second base), Keith Bryan Hayes (third base), Manny Machado (shortstop), Mark Matz (right field), and Jason Delay (catcher). The starting pitcher is Luis Ortiz.
All batters except Makano are batting in the right field spot. Bae will be on the bench with other left-handed hitters like Zack Sewinski and Josh Palacios.