First, the baseball season was shortened. Now, some games are being shortened. The Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers are scheduled to play two seven-inning games Sunday, after a rainout Saturday in Detroit. It will be a first, under Major League Baseball's new rules calling for shorter games when they're part of a doubleheader, Yahoo Sports reports. The league expects more doubleheaders as it tries to fit in 60 games despite postponements prompted by players and staff members testing positive for the coronavirus. MLB approved the rule, which is to be in effect only for the 2020 season, after surveying opinion across baseball. In addition to coronavirus-related attrition, injuries among pitchers are way up this season, knocking out some of the game's biggest stars, per Sports Illustrated.
''I think that's a good rule change especially with the pitchers going down every day,'' Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker said. There was less enthusiasm among the players who don't enter the game until the late innings. "I like nine and nine, personally," said Adam Ottavino, a New York Yankees relief pitcher, per USA Today. "Just think I don’t want to be marginalized out of the game." Joe Maddon, manager of the Los Angeles Angels, said he'd adapt to the new rule, common in college baseball and the minor leagues, per ESPN. "You just accelerate what you're doing, just like we're doing with the season," Maddon said, adding, "I'm not going to speak badly of any kind of suggestion right now that people believe is going to help us get through the season, get through the playoffs and conclude them." (Read more Major League Baseball stories.)