Despite being the No. 2 seed in the AL playoffs, the A’s played each of their three Wild Card Series games with the Chicago White Sox during the day, with every game starting before 1 p.m. PT.
Some players, including Jake Diekman and Ramón Laureano, expressed frustration with playing playoff games much earlier than MLB players typically are accustomed to. Nevertheless, the timing for the A’s five games with the Houston Astros in the AL Division Series will be similar, with first pitch scheduled no later than 2 p.m. PT n any game.
But the A’s seemed to change their tune on Sunday during Oakland’s media availability, saying their experience in the wild-card round prepared them for earlier start times.
“We have experience doing it,” A's manager Bob Melvin said Sunday. “The first couple games might have been a little frustrating. You always feel like you’re a little bit rushed because we can’t get to the ballpark as early as we normally do during the regular season. But we are conditioned for it now.
“Our guys didn’t seem to have a problem. We played a lot of day games during the course of the season. … It shouldn’t be an issue for us.”
In a sport where players spend hours going through routines prior to taking the field, having to start that in the early hours of the morning can be much less conducive to success.
But with a bigger national television draw in the New York Yankees playing on the other side of the AL bracket, the Bronx Bombers almost always will get the prime-time television slot so MLB can maximize viewership.
The A’s must just focus on what they control, and that starts Monday afternoon in Game 1 from Dodger Stadium.