2021 MLB schedule
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2021 MLB schedule announced

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The 2021 MLB schedule has been announced via press release by Major League Baseball. This despite the fact that the 2020 season, such as it is, has not even begun. This despite the fact that, in most years, the following year’s schedule is not announced until August or sometimes even September. Yet, here it is, in our inbox.

Four the fourth year in a row — at least if you count 2020’s original schedule, as opposed to its modified one — all 30 teams will play on the first day of the 2021 MLB schedule, which is April 1. No early games, no out-of-country games or anything like that. Just a 30-team Opening Day.

That Opening Day will feature 10 divisional match-ups among the 15 games and three interleague games: Tampa Bay Rays at Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants at Seattle Mariners.

Interleague play on the 2021 MLB schedule will, as always, be played throughout the season. Next season it will feature the AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central and AL West vs. NL West. Hey, just like this year! But for different reasons!

As previously reported, the New York Mets will host the Yankees at Citi Field from September 10th-12th as part of MLB’s observation of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. I’ve seen some people question whether that is the sort of thing that should be observed like that, but it’s understandable that they want to do it. As long as it’s tasteful and doesn’t turn into less of an observation and more of military thing or some weird Fourth of July Part Two, it’s probably fine.

Other highlights of the 2021 MLB schedule, as specified in the league’s press release:

  • The Dodgers will begin their home schedule with a three-game series against the Washington Nationals from April 9th-11th, a rematch of their five-game National League Division Series in 2019. Which is weird as, presumably, there will have been an intervening NLCS since then for the 2020 season;
  • The Braves will host the Cardinals for four games across Father’s Day weekend from June 17-20, a rematch of their five-game National League Division Series in 2019. Which, again, will have been two seasons removed by then;
  • The All-Star Game will be on Tuesday, July 13 at Truist Park in Atlanta;

The final day of the 2021 MLB schedule falls on Sunday, October 3, featuring 12 divisional games.

Again, all of this is optimistic given that we don’t even know if they can pull off 2020. And this is rather early compared to what they usually do. Maybe there are reasons for that, but what they are is hard to figure out at the moment.

But, no matter the case, we have a 2021 MLB schedule.

UPDATE: Here’s a hint as to why they did it now:

Giants beat Mariners again in road game playing at home

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SAN FRANCISCO — The nomadic Mariners are taking their bats from the Bay Area to Southern California for three more “home games” on the road.

Wilmer Flores hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh inning of the Giants’ 6-4 win Thursday that sent Seattle to a second home defeat played in San Francisco’s ballpark because of dangerous air quality in Western Washington.

The series was moved because of smoke from all the West Coast wildfires. Now, the Mariners are altering their air travel reservations once more and headed to San Diego for a weekend series at Petco Park.

“It’s disappointing, but its the world we’re living in in 2020,” Mariners starter Nick Margevicius said. “There’s a lot of things we can’t control, a lot of things in the season, a lot of things in the world right now.”

Darin Ruf homered in the second inning to back Giants starter Tyler Anderson, who hurt his own cause when he was ejected in the bottom of the third by plate umpire Edwin Moscoso for emphatically expressing his displeasure with a walk to Kyle Lewis.

“Tyler knows that that just can’t happen,” mangaer Gabe Kapler said. “It puts us in a really tough spot.”

Wandy Peralta followed Anderson and threw 49 pitches over a career-high three innings, and Rico Garcia (1-1) worked one inning for his first major league win. Sam Selman finished for his first career save, stranding two runners when Lewis lined out and Kyle Seager flied out.

“Peralta came up huge for us,” Kapler said. “As tough as that was it was equally rewarding and in some ways inspiring to see him come out and give us the length that he did and battle. It gave us a chance to climb back into the game. I thought our guys continued to be resilient.”

JP Crawford hit a two-run single in the second following RBI singles by Tim Lopes and Phillip Ervin, but Seattle’s bullpen couldn’t hold a three-run lead.

Margevicius was staked to an early lead but Kendall Graveman (0-3) couldn’t hold it. The Mariners capitalized in the second after Anderson hit Seager in the backside.

Seattle has fared better against San Diego this season after losing all four to San Francisco. Manager Scott Servais had prepared himself for the possibility his club might have to stay on the road a little longer.

“I think with our players and everybody else it was going to be a two-day trip. That’s what we were led to believe that everything was going to clear up in Seattle,” Servais said. “We can’t control the weather it’s bigger than all of us and with what’s going on there with the smoke. Certainly understand why we have to go but I don’t think anybody was really prepared for it.”

Brandon Crawford contributed a sacrifice fly and Evan Longoria and Alex Dickerson RBI singles for the Giants.

Austin Slater returned at designated hitter for San Francisco and went 0 for 2 with a walk as he works back from a painful right elbow. Luis Basabe singled in the sixth for his first career hit and also stole his first base.

“I didn’t think about it,” said Basabe, who will gift the special souvenir ball to his mother. “I was just happy to get the opportunity.”

Justin Smoak made his Giants home debut as a pinch hitter in the sixth facing his former club after he signed a minor league deal earlier this month following his release by the Brewers.

Anderson, who was trying to win consecutive starts for the first time this season, received his second career ejection. The other was Aug. 13, 2016, while with Colorado.