For all that is changing in the Mets’ world under new owner Steve Cohen, their Saturday home games are not.
Most of those contests will begin at 7 p.m., a longstanding Wilpon-era policy stemming from the belief that they sell more tickets that way. Of their 13 home dates that fall on Saturdays, eight are night games, including all of them after the All-Star break. One Saturday home game will begin at 1 p.m. and four will have first pitch at 4 p.m.
That was among the takeaways Thursday when MLB announced first-pitch times for the entire 2021 regular season. Start times typically are decided by the home team.
Among the other highlights:
• The Mets’ season opener will begin at 7:09 p.m. on April 1. They will play the Nationals in Washington in a contest broadcast exclusively on ESPN, meaning Alex Rodriguez — who badly wanted to buy the Mets — might be on the call.
• The home opener, April 8 against the Marlins, will begin at 1:10 p.m.
Naturally, the Mets will play an NL East-heavy schedule to begin and end the season. Their first half-month — 13 games — will be against division rivals Washington, Philadelphia and Miami. Of their 29 games in September/October, 18 will be against NL East clubs.
Both of the Mets’ series against the Yankees are pinned to notable anniversaries. They will play at Yankee Stadium on July 2-4, with a 7 p.m. start for the finale on Independence Day. They will play at Citi Field on Sept. 10-12, including a 7:40 p.m. first pitch on Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
Brach bumped. The Mets designated reliever Brad Brach for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for utilityman Jonathan Villar, whose one-year contract became official.
Brach struggled last season (5.84 ERA, 1.78 WHIP) after missing most of camp because of COVID-19. He had been with the Mets since August 2019.
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