NEW YORK -- The Phillies and Mets will become a small part of sports media history today when they participate in MLB's first digital-only national regular-season game broadcast. The afternoon game at Citi Field will air in the United States exclusively on Facebook Watch, a video platform that launched last
NEW YORK -- The Phillies and Mets will become a small part of sports media history today when they participate in MLB's first digital-only national regular-season game broadcast. The afternoon game at Citi Field will air in the United States exclusively on Facebook Watch, a video platform that launched last August.
Those wishing to see aces Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Nola square off in a 1:10 p.m. ET matinee can log onto Facebook Watch's MLB live page from their phones, tablets, smart TVs or other streaming devices. MLB Network will produce the game, with play-by-play man Scott Braun, analysts Cliff Floyd and John Kruk, and in-game reporter Alexa Datt on the call. The broadcast crew will take a social-first approach and interact with the audience throughout the broadcast to bring the ballpark experience to Facebook.
"They're very unique broadcasts," said Braun, who has called similar college basketball broadcasts in the past. "I was super excited when I was approached about it because I think we have so much technology available now. We might as well utilize all of that."
Fans can interact with Floyd, who played for the Mets from 2003-06 and has served as an analyst for SNY, and Kruk, a Phillie from 1989-94 and a regular member of the team's local broadcast crew. That includes between innings during the commercial-free broadcast.
"We plan on interacting with the audience from 1 o'clock all the way to the end of the game," Braun said. "Whatever it is you would say at home, if you comment, we'll respond as much as we can."
The idea of a streaming game became reality last May, when MLB and Facebook partnered to live stream simulcasts of participating teams' local television broadcasts. The concept is now being expanded, with MLB Network's Emmy-winning team producing 25 games over the course of the season exclusively for Facebook. The games will take place primarily on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and local TV networks will not air them.
• FAQ: How to watch games on Facebook
How to watch on mobile and desktop
1. Search for "MLB Live" on Facebook
2. Follow the "MLB Live" show page
How to watch on TV
1. Download the Facebook video app on your TV or streaming device and search for "MLB Live"
2. Or stream the game from your phone to a TV on the same WiFi network by tapping the TV icon.
Upcoming Facebook games (all times ET)
• Wednesday, April 4: PHI-NYM, 1:10 p.m.
• Wednesday, April 11: MIL-STL, 1:15 p.m.
• Wednesday, April 18: KC-TOR, 4:07 p.m.
• Thursday, April 26: ARI-PHI, 1:05 p.m.
• Thursday, May 3: LAD-ARI, 3:40 p.m.
• Thursday, May 10: SF-PHI, 1:05 p.m.
• Wednesday, May 16: TEX-SEA, 3:40 p.m.
• Thursday, May 24: LAA-TOR, 12:37 p.m.
• Wednesday, May 30: STL-MIL, 1:10 p.m.
What to know about the Phillies-Mets game
On Opening Day, Syndergaard struck out 10 Cardinals over six innings of four-run ball, showing little rust after missing nearly five months last year due to a right lat injury.
"It was a great feeling getting out there," Syndergaard said. "I didn't really feel like I missed any time with that injury last year."
Nola wasn't quite as thrilled with his Opening Day debut. Carrying a 5-0 lead over the Braves into the sixth inning, Nola departed after just 68 pitches on a surprising pitching change by new manager Gabe Kapler. Reliever Hoby Milner subsequently gave up a two-run homer to Freddie Freeman, sparking a comeback that ended in a walk-off, three-run homer and an 8-5 Phillies defeat.
"It was a tough loss for the team," Nola said, adding: "I had a good bit left."
Kapler drew additional criticism for using 21 pitchers in 28 innings during the Phillies' three-game series loss to Atlanta, including utility infielder Pedro Florimon. That put him in stark contrast to fellow first-time manager Mickey Callaway, who used aggressive lineup changes to his advantage in taking two of three from the Cardinals.
"I just wanted to make sure the guys were in a good position to succeed," Callaway said. "We wanted to just make sure that we thought everything out."
Kapler and Callaway will now lead the Phillies and Mets into a nationally broadcast game for the first time this season, making a bit of high-tech history in the process.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.