By: Peyton Gray, Staff Writer–
The 2020 MLB season saw a troubling start, especially for three teams: the Cardinals, Marlins and Phillies.
The Cardinals had eight staff members and 10 players test positive for the coronavirus in early August. The Marlins saw two coaches and 18 players test positive around the same.
Although the Phillies had no such outbreak, they still suffered the consequences of being behind in games played, as they were Miami’s opponent when the teams sat out to conduct further testing.
Amid the COVID-related cancellations, the MLB tightened their safety protocols. With the new protocols in place, players are required to wear masks at all times, unless they are on the field of play.
Visiting teams are no longer allowed to leave the team hotel, with each team having a compliance officer to make sure these regulations are followed. Failure to comply can result in suspension.
The initial outbreak saw a total of 32 postponements in the already shortened, 60-game season. Due to this, the Cardinals, Marlins and Phillies will have a grueling finish to the season.
The Marlins will finish the season by playing 28 games in 24 days, with 14 of those games being played in 10 days.
The Phillies will play 30 games in 27 days, having three doubleheaders this week.
The Marlins-Phillies matchup will see a seven-game series this weekend.
“You’re going to basically play five games in like 50 hours. That’s physically grinding,” Phillies manager Joe Giradi said.
The Cardinals’ gauntlet comes next week. They will play eight games between Monday and Friday– with three doubleheaders.
All three teams will enter the weekend holding a playoff position.
The Cardinals have a two-game lead for second place in their NL Central division. In the East, the Phillies are a half-game ahead of the Marlins for second place.
The weeks leading up to the Sept. 27 conclusion will be daunting. Although most players who were sick are back, there are many new faces thrown into the mix.
In the first weekend of the season, the Marlins lost three of the five players who make up the starting rotation.
The 32 postponements impacted 12 different teams from late July to early August. However, against all odds, this unprecedented season will have a World Series Champion.