Report: MLB, union agree to 7-inning doubleheaders

FILE PHOTO: Jul 29, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Chicago White Sox second baseman Leury Garcia (28) dives safely to first base beside Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana (41) on a pickoff play in the third inning at Progressive Field. /David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Doubleheaders apparently are about to get shorter.

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association agreed to a deal that will cut each game in a doubleheader to seven innings beginning Aug. 1, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Thursday.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal had tweeted earlier Thursday that the sides were working on a deal to reduce the length of doubleheaders for the 2020 season only.

The idea behind the plan is to reduce the wear and tear on pitchers amid a regular season previously reduced to 60 games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The schedule was altered further this week when the Miami Marlins experienced a COVID-19 outbreak. The Marlins and their most recent opponent, the Philadelphia Phillies, haven’t played since Sunday, and neither will be back on the field again before next Monday. The Phillies had two staffers test positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

Assuming MLB attempts to make up all of the postponed Marlins and Phillies games, numerous doubleheaders likely would be required unless the end of the season is pushed back.

Minor League Baseball has long played seven-inning games during doubleheaders, but MLB games have always been scheduled as nine innings.

One doubleheader has been played so far this season, with the host Cleveland Indians sweeping the Chicago White Sox 4-3 and 5-3 on Tuesday after a rainout on Monday.

-Field Level Media