As postponed games continue to build in MLB, the need to make up games is increasing fast. It’s clear that this will be a regular occurrence and not just an exception that’s happening this week. As a result, MLB and the MLBPA have approved another rule change just for 2020, allowing double-header games to be composed of two seven-inning games.
Official. If played, Sunday’s doubleheader at Miller Park will be a pair of seven-inning games. pic.twitter.com/mXKYS9klzC— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) July 31, 2020
This rule has already been in place in several levels of the minor leagues, where they will play double-headers of seven innings to make up games. It’s a temporary measure to get through the current season and play as many games as possible.
The first team to play one of these double-headers may be the Brewers, whose makeup date for Friday’s postponed game is Sunday. Not only will it be the first double-header of seven inning games, it will also be the first double-header for the Brewers in the history of Miller Park.
A seven inning double-header could work in favor for the Brewers if it becomes a regular thing. Though the Brewers would have to play fourteen innings in a single day, it would also mean shorter games where they can use their bullpen more, if needed. Starting pitchers don’t have to pitch as long to prevent the bullpen from being overworked, so manager Craig Counsell doesn’t have to worry about tiring out his whole pitching staff in a double-header. In addition, players on offense can play both halves of a double-header more easily, meaning the team doesn’t have to be without a player for a whole game since they wouldn’t have to play potentially eighteen innings. Of course, both teams can take advantage of the short double-header games as well, but it does provide some opportunity to strategize and maximize the players in both games.
While Sunday is planned to be a double-header, there’s still a question of which games will be played this weekend. Today’s game is still scheduled for 6:10 pm tonight, but that could change depending on rapid test results that come back today. Those results could also determine whether tomorrow’s games can go on as planned, or if those will have to be postponed as well.