Noah Syndergaard again brought the high heat to social media Saturday, this time lambasting MLB and ESPN for moving the Mets’ game against the Dodgers to Sunday Night Baseball, thus ensuring that the West Coast road trip that begins Monday night will come with an extra dose of drowsiness.
The switch, which actually occurred in late July, means the Mets will play the Dodgers at 7:08 p.m. Sunday, ensuring that they won’t make it to San Francisco until (very) early Monday morning. They will play the Giants at 9:45 p.m. EDT as the start of what could be a pivotal seven-game tour of California.
"Hey @mlb @espn whose dumb [expletive] idea was it to change tomorrow’s game to a night game when we’re traveling to the west coast after," Syndergaard wrote on an Instagram story. "Won’t get in until Monday morning. Take on the 1st place Giants later that evening. Brilliant!"
Before Saturday night’s game, manager Luis Rojas said Syndergaard wasn’t the only Met to take exception to the scheduling change, though Rojas did add that the team was partially doing it in jest. Sort of.
"I know they’re venting about it," he said. "I’ve heard the guys throughout the clubhouse say it and repeat it, but I think they’re doing it more as a joke because there’s no way around it, we’re going to do it. Other teams have done this in the past, too, and I just think they’re just venting. It’s tough to play the night game and then go across the nation, but we’re not the first team that’s ever done that."
There are, of course, a slew of reasons why the Mets might be unhappy about the change, not all jet lag-related. The team has been beset with injury after injury, many of them nagging soft tissue issues, and tired players make for players who are more likely to get hurt.
They’re also in a precarious position, having fallen 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta and the Phillies after spending a vast majority of the season atop the weak NL East. It doesn’t help that the two teams they’ll be facing, the Giants and Dodgers, are among the very best in baseball.
"I understand where they’re coming from, venting about it just because it is a long trip, and the game is going to end late so we’re going to arrive there in the morning or so, but it’s going to happen," Rojas said.
He added that 41-year-old Rich Hill, Monday’s starter, will not travel ahead, instead opting to stay with the team.
That said, a long day doesn’t mean the team can’t take other precautions to ensure that the cross country commute is as painless as possible.
"So what can we do?" Rojas said. "Be smart about Monday. We’ll have a late [report time] there in San Francisco so the guys can get their rest and be ready to play our first game against the Giants."