It’s a week of quality rather than quantity for British baseball fans. Here’s your guide to the games you can watch/listen to via MLB.com live during the evening this week. All times listed as BST.
Monday â€“ Two early games, taking place as I write this post. The Giants are in Florida playing the Marlins, while the Cards and the Cubs are making up for their postponed game from last night (the Cubbies have just hit back-to-back jacks to tie it 2-2 in the bottom of the second).
Tuesday â€“ No early games. The two best match-ups later on look to be the Padres taking on the Mets (Chris Young and John Maine will start) just after midnight and the Yankees facing the Angels (Mussina versus Escobar) at 03.05.
Wednesday â€“ Three early games, all from the American League. The A’s travel to Toronto to face A.J. Burnett and the Blue Jays from 17.37, Miguel Batista and Carlos Silva start for the Mariners and the Twins respectively at 18.10, and the Royals play the White Sox from 19.05 (Bannister versus Contreras).
Thursday â€“ Four early games today, all coming with good reasons to take a look. The Indians and the Tigers meet at 18.05 for the latest game between the teams battling for supremacy in the AL Central. At the same time, the Dodgers and the Phillies attempt to gain an advantage in the NL wildcard race, while two hours later the Rockies look to do the same by getting a win against the Pirates. Finally, there’s a great pitching match-up in prospect at AT&T Park, where Carlos Zambrano faces Matt Cain and the Giants from 20.35.
Friday â€“ No early games, but there are plenty of top pitchers on show in the early hours of Saturday (EDIT: Due to yesterday’s rainout, the Red Sox and White Sox will play the first of a doubleheader from 19.05) . Santana, Clemens (both 00.05), Willis and Harang, Penny and Perez (both 00.10), John Smoltz (01.10), Schilling and Garland (01.11), King Felix (01.35), Owings (02.40), Halladay and Jered Weaver (03.05), and Vargas and Lowry (03.15) are all currently scheduled to take the mound in a bumper Friday line-up. If rain drowns out Saturday (which is quite likely, being a Bank Holiday weekend) then you’ll at least have a perfect excuse to stay in and watch lots of â€œarchivedâ€ action from the night before.