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How Do The Cardinals Finish The 2020 Season?

The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t played a game since July 29 because of a COVID-19 cluster within the organization, but their return to the field is set for Saturday. The club on Thursday night announced that the Cardinals would travel to Chicago in time for a Saturday doubleheader against the White Sox and thus resume their 2020 season. 

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that MLB and the Players Association are discussing what the Cardinals schedule will look like once they do return. Players reportedly want to play as many games as possible — in part because their salaries for 2020 are pro-rated based on the number of regular season games — and that means they’d like to focus on doubleheaders to get the Cardinals as close to 60 games as possible.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch previously reported that a return to game action on Saturday was possible: 

The Cardinals’ scheduled game against the White Sox on Friday is expected to be postponed. That game could be shifted to Saturday for a doubleheader or Sunday as the Cardinals begin a six-day stay in the Windy City.

The Cardinals are considering driving to Chicago, a MLB source confirmed.

The Cardinals would also try to make up at least one of the postponed games against the Cubs with a doubleheader in the three-day series against the Cubs scheduled to start Monday at Wrigley Field.

The Cardinals haven’t had a confirmed positive case since Saturday, but test results haven’t been announced since early this week. Thus far, 17 members of the organizations have tested positive, including 10 players. According to multiple reports, a Cardinals coach recently tested positive for the coronavirus, but Bob Nightengale tweets that the coach in question had been in isolation and had no contact with the remainder of the team. 

At present, the Cardinals have lost 15 games to COVID-related postponement, and that’s a serious matter given the compressed nature of the baseball calendar in 2020. The goal, though, remains 60 games, even if that seems like an impossibly heavy lift given that St. Louis will not have played in 17 days when they take the field in Chicago on Saturday.

If the Cardinals do wind up playing fewer games than other teams — a distinct possibility at this point even if they load up on doubleheaders — and make the postseason based on win percentage then it’s going to be a source of controversy. That’s especially the case if they bump a team from the playoff field that played more games than they did. Of course, playing fewer games could also work against the Cardinals depending upon how they fare once they’re on the field again.


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