Let’s play two … or seven. Usually seven-game series are reserved for the playoffs, but with 22 games to make up following the league’s recent wave of COVID outbreaks, MLB schedule-makers have gotten increasingly creative with their methods. Beginning September 10, the Phillies and Marlins will embark on an unprecedented seven-game set in Miami comprised of games Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday with doubleheaders slated for both Friday and Sunday.
The teams will get a slight reprieve thanks to MLB adopting seven-inning doubleheaders for the remainder of 2020, shaving a combined eight innings off Friday and Sunday’s twin offerings. To accommodate the NL East rivals, who are making up for lost time following last week’s coronavirus-necessitated hiatus, the start of Boston’s series in Miami was pushed back from September 14 to the following day.
It’s going to be a hectic finish for the Marlins, who close the season with an exhausting 27 games in 23 days. According to the Associated Press, that includes a frantic span of four doubleheaders in 10 calendar days. Miami’s weeklong layoff and subsequent roster shakeup amid a rash of positive COVID tests gives the Fish little margin for error. Luckily, Miami’s seven-game meetup with Philadelphia will be staged at retractable-roof Marlins Park, preventing weather from further complicating an already-ambitious schedule.
The Marlins and Phillies aren’t the only ones being stretched thin. To make up for last week’s string of postponements, the Cardinals and Brewers have added three doubleheaders to their September slates. In a rare scheduling quirk, Milwaukee will serve as the nominal home team for Game 1 of September 25th’s planned twin bill at Busch Stadium.
With five doubleheaders on tap for the each of the Phillies, Cardinals and Marlins—and maybe another one in the hopper for St. Louis following Friday’s scrapped game against the Cubs—there won’t be much rest for the weary in MLB. Such is life in the COVID age.