Cardinals have not played since July 29 because of multiple positive coronavirus tests.
It’s been a season of firsts, and here’s another one for the White Sox: A scheduled doubleheader with two seven-inning games.
The Sox and Cardinals’ scheduled game at Guaranteed Rate Field Friday was postponed and will be made up Saturday with a straight doubleheader starting at 1:10 p.m. Major League Baseball is expected to announce it Friday.
The Cardinals (2-3) have not played since July 29 because of multiple positive coronavirus tests. They were scheduled to play the Sox Friday, Saturday and Sunday before taking on the Cubs Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at Wrigley Field, pending the results of tests. A staffer’s positive test that surfaced Thursday was the team’s 18th but players, coaches and staffers were planning to travel to Chicago Friday, reportedly in cars for the 295-mile drive.
Coming off two wins in a row and an off day Thursday, the Sox (10-9) would have preferred opening the Cardinals series Friday. They had not listed a starting pitcher for Friday, an expected bullpen day. Lucas Giolito was scheduled to start Saturday and Dallas Keuchel Sunday, both on five days rest. Saturday’s scheduled game had a 6:10 p.m. start.
While calling up a pitcher from Schaumburg to start one of the doubleheader games might be a possibility Saturday, the bullpen should be able to absorb a seven-inning game, especially with Giolito starting one of them.
“We’re anticipating playing and we’ll deal with any situation that arises that might take us away from that,” Sox manager Rick Renteria said after the Sox’ 7-5 win Wednesday in Detroit, knowing the series was in limbo. “Hopefully … we’ll just continue to play, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, if it even happens.”
The league has to work out a schedule for the Cardinals, who will have 44 days remaining by Saturday to play 55 games, but they’re not expected to play them all.
The Sox will be facing a team with some rust when it resumes playing, although the Cardinals have had individualized workouts, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
On July 31, MLB and the player’s union announced seven-inning doubleheaders would be played as postponed games mounted because of positive coronavirus tests.
“Given the frequency of doubleheaders, the effects of doubleheaders on rosters, and the need to reschedule games due to dynamic circumstances, both the Clubs and the Players have determined that this step promotes player health and safety,” the league and the union said in a joint statement.