WASHINGTON -- The Giants will begin Wednesday trying to hit baseballs at an hour when they'd usually hit the snooze button. The scheduled starting time for their July 4 extravaganza against the Washington Nationals is 11:05 a.m. ET. Of course, that's 8:05 a.m. in California for those who haven't yet adjusted to the time-zone change. And that's barely more than a half-day after the conclusion of Tuesday night's series opener. The extra-early start gives fans a chance to enjoy the numerous Fourth of July festivities in the area and avoid traffic snarls involving ballgame patrons and holiday revelers.
To maximize rest for his players, Giants manager Bruce Bochy canceled official batting practice and ordered the first bus to leave the team hotel at 8 a.m. "There's plenty of room on it," Bochy joked. Another bus will depart at 9 a.m. -- about two hours before the game, when most players normally would be fully dressed in uniform. Though the night-to-day turnaround time will be especially quick, playing a morning game won't be an unprecedented experience for several Giants, who started Arizona Rookie League games at or around 10 a.m. "We had to wake up at 6 in the morning," third baseman Pablo Sandoval recalled. Sandoval added that he habitually arises around 7:30 a.m. "I'm a morning guy," he said. Right-hander Sergio Romo recalled playing games as a youth shortly after breakfast.
"For me, personally, I think it's fun," he said. "You get to wake up and bam, here you are, game's on."