The days of traditional doubleheaders are in the past as it concerns the 2020 MLB season.
Via an official statement, MLB and the MLB Players Association announced that the parties agreed to shift both games of doubleheaders to seven-inning outings effective Saturday (Aug. 1) for the campaign played amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic:
"Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Official Baseball Rule 7.01(a) (“Regulation Games”), a regulation game in both games of a double-header shall consist of seven innings, unless extended because of a tie score. In this respect, the "Extra Innings" rule contained in Section 5.1.2 of the 2020 Operations Manual shall apply to each half-inning following the completion of the seventh inning.
"Please note that OBR 7.01(c) shall still apply, such that if a game is called, it is a regulation game (1) if five innings have been completed; (2) if the home team has scored more runs in four or four and a fraction half-innings than the visiting team has scored in five completed half-innings; or (3) if the home team scores one or more runs in its half of the fifth inning to tie the score."
Kelsie Heneghan of MiLB.com reminded everybody a runner will start on second base if any game of a doubleheader enters extra innings:
Major League friends, welcome to the possibility of seven-inning no-no's and a runner on second in the 8th inning!— Kelsie Heneghan (@Kelsie_Heneghan) July 31, 2020
Thursday evening, ESPN and other outlets reported that MLBPA executive director Tony Clark approached deputy commissioner Dan Halem earlier in the week about the proposal. It's believed the 60-game season could be filled with doubleheaders as games are postponed due to weather or when team coronavirus tests return positive results.
The Miami Marlins experienced a virus outbreak that has resulted in at least 18 players testing positive this week. Miami's season is suspended from July 27 through Aug. 2 at the earliest. The Philadelphia Phillies, who hosted the Marlins last weekend, haven't played since Sunday and had a weekend series versus the Toronto Blue Jays called off.
Miami and Philadelphia are scheduled to begin a series on Aug. 4. Both teams could use several doubleheaders to catch up to clubs that remained active throughout the final week of July.