Fox Saturday Baseball returns this week with another early 1 p.m. East start time as NASCAR is being run at 7 tonight. So to avoid any possible runovers and conflicts, baseball goes early at 1. NASCAR fires off at 7 and fans of both sports are happy. Joe Buck is off again so that means he’s worked 3 out of a possible 5 weeks for baseball. Don’t know if this was scheduled or part of his battle with a virus that’s plagued his voice for the last month. MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian will work in Buck’s place.
Here’s the skinny on both baseball and NASCAR from Fox Sports.
FOX Sports Presents MLB/NASCAR Twinbill Saturday
FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK at Special 1:00 PM ET Start Time
Cardinals and Braves Face Off in Atlanta * Angels and Rays Meet in St. Pete
* Mets and Phillies Battle in Philly
PUJOLS AND CARDINALS FACE BRAVES ON FOX’S SATURDAY GAME OF THE WEEK – The FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK returns to its special start time of 1:00 PM ET on Saturday, April 30 with live regional coverage of three matchups. Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday lead a resurgent Cardinals offense as they travel to Atlanta to take on Brian McCann and the Braves. In a year where many didn’t expect much, Sam Fuld and the surprising Rays are playing well and in second place in the AL East. They host the Angels in central Florida. In Philadelphia, NL East rivals battle as Jimmy Rollins and the Phillies host Jose Reyes and the Mets. The MLB on FOX pregame originates live from Citizens Bank Park, with host Chris Rose. Once game action begins, Rose joins the game crew including Matt Vasgersian, Tim McCarver and Ken Rosenthal as a field reporter.
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St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves, Kenny Albert & Mark Grace, going to 52% of USA
Turner Field – Atlanta, GA
MARKETS INCLUDE: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Birmingham, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Denver, Detroit, Greensboro, Greenville, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Louisville, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis, Tulsa
Probable Pitchers: TBA vs. Brandon Bechy, RHP (1-1, 3.68 ERA)
Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays, Josh Lewin & Eric Karros, 25% of USA
Tropicana Field – St. Petersburg, FL
MARKETS INCLUDE: Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Portland, Providence, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa
Probable Pitchers:TBA vs. James Shields, RHP (2-1, 2.35 ERA)
New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies, Matt Vasgersian, Tim McCarver & Ken Rosenthal, going to 22% of USA
Citizen’s Bank Park – Philadelphia, PA
MARKETS INCLUDE: Baltimore, Buffalo, Fort Myers, Hartford, Miami, New York, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Washington, West Palm Beach
Probable Pitchers: Jon Niese, LHP (1-3, 5.10 ERA) vs. TBA
ROSENTHAL: BASEBALL CAN’T HAVE ITS CAKE AND EAT IT TOO – FOX Sports reporter and FOXSports.com senior MLB columnist Ken Rosenthal says Major League Baseball should think twice before expanding the playoffs. “The problem with baseball is it wants all its different eggs in one basket: 162 game schedule, expanded playoffs, interleague play, you name it, they never cut back on any one area to make room for another. If you want to shorten the postseason, the obvious solution is to go back to 154 games, but we all know that will never happen. I understand baseball wants to have its cake and eat it too, but sometimes you can get too stuffed, a little too sugar overdosed and that’s what’s happening here.”
HAMLIN GOES FOR THE HOME WIN AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY – 2010 was a career year for Denny Hamlin as he finished second in the Sprint Cup standings. However, 2011 hasn’t been nearly as successful. Fifty points off the pace, the Chesterfield, Virginia-raised Hamlin aims to turn his season around at the nearby Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 30 (7:00 PM ET). Coverage starts with the NASCAR on FOX prerace show hosted by Chris Myers, along with analysts Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond. The show airs live from the infield with updates from the Hollywood Hotel, FOX Sports’ traveling prerace set providing updates from drivers, crewmen and officials shaping the day’s action. On this week’s show, the DW sits down with NASCAR driver/owner Tony Stewart.
Once the green flag drops, the voice of NASCAR Mike Joy is alongside analysts Waltrip and Larry McReynolds to call all the twists and turns on the track while Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda and Matt Yocum patrol the pits for reports on teams and pit stops.
WALTRIP BROTHERS JOIN FORCES FOR FIRST-EVER NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE FRIDAY ON SPEED – SPEED ushers in its first-ever exclusive NASCAR Nationwide Series race Friday, April 29 (7:00 PM ET) from Richmond International Raceway. SPEED has simulcast two NASCAR Nationwide Series races and long supported the series, airing 44 practice and qualifying sessions last season alone. For the first time ever, Darrell and Michael Waltrip provide analysis in the booth together for a Nationwide series race. “Who would have thought Michael and I would get the chance to do something like this together?” The Waltrip brothers are joined by race announcer Rick Allen with reports from pit road from Ray Dunlap, Hermie Sadler and Krista Voda.
That is it.