Yankees players react favorably to seven-inning doubleheaders
Major League Baseball has adopted seven-inning games for doubleheaders during the abbreviated and compacted 2020 season.
The New York Yankees got a taste of the unconventional and unprecedented setup Wednesday in a two-game showdown with the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
With a 11-7 loss in the opener and 3-1 victory in the back-end of the twin bill in the books, not only did the Yankees praise the new, temporary normal afterward, one player actually endorsed the policy beyond this shortened season.
“I like it,” Yankees first baseman Luke Voit said, per the New York Daily News. “It’s not as much wear and tear as nine. … It goes quick.
“Obviously you can have a bullpen day like we had today, or you can have two starters potentially [have complete games],” Voit continued. “I think it’s something that pitchers like because they have a chance to throw 75-80 pitches and … every pitcher wants to go [a complete game]. But it’s different. I like it a lot. And I think it’s good for the players and injury prevention.”
Along with Voit’s positive outlook on seven-inning doubleheaders, outfielder Mike Tauchman proposed MLB doing the same every Sunday during a traditional regular season, then give teams Mondays off.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone was more hesitant to fully endorse MLB going to seven-inning doubleheaders going forward in ensuing seasons. Boone noted there is a more urgency for scoring in this format, and went on to add that it changes up a lot of how skipper approach managing the game.
Practically speaking, it’s unlikely that MLB would have made such a monumental change unless the unprecedented circumstances presented by the coronavirus pandemic compelled the league to make adjustments to increase player safety and limit wear and tear.
With that in mind, it’s unlikely MLB will see seven-inning doubleheaders beyond season. Then again, if 2020 has provided any lesson for professional sports leagues, it’s that nothing should be off the table when it comes to changes that have long been considered too radical to consider.