MLB doubleheaders could get abbreviated to 7-inning games

Ernie Banks broadly stated: “Let’s play two.”

Baseball players very well might not have any desire to play nine innings twice in one day during this pandemic-deferred season.

While Cleveland cleared the Chicago White Sox in the first doubleheader of the season on Tuesday, union head Tony Clark called Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem and said players should consider abbreviated twinbills this year.

The players’ association is studying individuals and may propose either two seven-inning games for a twinbill or nine innings for the opener and seven for the nightcap.

Major League Baseball is checking opinions at the proprietor and general manager levels, and staff seeks after a decision by Saturday to roll out an improvement or leave the rules the way the are.

Philadelphia and Toronto are planned for a doubleheader on Saturday as the Phillies continue play following a five-day layoff. The time off was brought about by standing by to make no players or staff were tainted during games against the Miami Marlins a weekend ago.

Phillies general Matt Klentak said seven-inning games are feasible for the twinbill.

“I like nine and nine, personally,” Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino said Wednesday. “I don’t want to be marginalized out of the game, Once we go seven-inning games, slippery slope there.”

Official Baseball Rules permit lower levels to receive a standard giving one or the two games of a doubleheader be seven innings. NCAA rules permit the options of two nine-inning games, a seven and a nine or two sevens.

The union’s review was first detailed by The Athletic.

“Right now, I don’t think it’s necessary based on how this season has been set up,” Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “If the doubleheaders were to pile up for whatever reason, I would have it like in a contingency plan.

Given modern use of pitchers, Maddon said the abbreviated game would be what could be compared to beginning the games in the third inning. He could acquire relievers prior.

“The sixth inning, the fifth inning play differently,” he said.

“You just get to that ninth inning a lot sooner. The sixth inning, the fifth inning play differently based on the game supposed to conclude,” he said.

“You just accelerate what you’re doing, just like we’re doing with the season. So I get it from the perspective of expediency, if it’s necessary. … I’m in for anything right now. 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 to get through the playoffs and conclude them,” he said.

MLB as of now has embraced one shortening rule for 2020: Each half of every additional inning begins with a runner on second base.

There were five extra-inning games during the initial six days of the season. Four finished in 10 innings and one of every 11.

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