Another sign baseball season is drawing closer and closer: MLB today announced the starting times for every game in 2012.
There are no real surprises for the Nationals. They open April 5 at Chicago's Wrigley Field at 2:20 p.m. EDT (the traditional day game starting time for the Cubs).
The Nats' home opener comes one week later, on April 12 against the Reds, with a 1:05 p.m. start time.
One difference between this year's Nationals schedule and previous ones: They're slated to play several more Saturday afternoon games than in the past. Twelve Saturday games will begin in the afternoon, eight of them at home (five starting at 1:05 p.m., three starting at 4:05 p.m.).
The Nationals also are tentatively scheduled to play two 8:05 p.m. Sunday night games on ESPN: May 6 vs. the Phillies and May 27 at the Braves. ESPN could pick up more Sunday night games later in the season.
The other oddity in the Nationals' schedule: For the first time, they're going to play a morning game on July 4. First pitch against the Giants is set for 11:05 a.m., offering fans a chance to head home before the onslaught of fireworks traffic descends on the District.