Good morning, Athletics Nation!
Take two: MLB appears to be past its first wave of coronavirus outbreaks, for real this time.
The Miami Marlins are back on track after more than half their team tested positive last month, as they’ve played nine games in the last 10 days and managed to avoid a return by the virus. The St. Louis Cardinals weren’t so fortunate at first, as they were hit by a second wave that extended their hiatus, but they’re finally ready to go and will resume play on Saturday, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Cardinals will play doubleheaders on Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday, notes Goold. There’s hope they could still get close to playing their full 60-game schedule, and maybe even complete it entirely, though that might require going an extra day after the season, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. As a reminder, doubleheader games are only seven innings each this summer, as a temporary 2020 measure to help get in as many contests as possible.
So far, St. Louis has played just five games, and hasn’t taken the field since July 29. By comparison, the Oakland A’s have played 19 already and will add their 20th on Friday.
The Cards did have one more staffer test positive, reports Buster Olney of ESPN on Thursday, but apparently that wasn’t enough to scuttle their imminent return plans. During their outbreak the last few weeks, they had cases among at least 10 players (seven at first, then three later) plus several staffers.
The 2020 season will sit under the specter of the pandemic until the final inning of the final game, so the sport will never truly be out of the woods. But so far, all systems are go, one-third of the way through the campaign.
- Slusser mailbag: Ramón Laureano brawl fallout? How long is Sean Manaea’s leash? ($)
- Slusser podcast: Guests are Matt Kahawara, John Shea, and Henry Schulman
- Coffey: College roommates Tony Kemp and Mike Yastrzemski pushed each other to the majors ($$$)
- Sawchik: The A’s Aren’t Just Scrappy. They’ve Got Stars.
- Hickey: Homeward Bound: Athletics’ Smith Heads Back to Oracle This Weekend at top of his Game
- Hickey: Getting a Grip: Pitchers go to Great Lengths to Get Perfect Grip on a Baseball
- Kleinschmidt: What makes A’s starter Chris Bassitt’s slow curveball so effective
- Hall: Robbie Grossman is a Top 5 hitter in MLB so far
MLB News & Interest
- Passan: Dodgers, LeBron James team up to make Dodger Stadium a polling site
- Video: Zach Plesac addresses punishment for breaking team-shelter protocol
- Soshnick: Mets sale: Best-and-final offers due Aug. 31
- Today in Baseball History
Yesterday’s Game Highlights
Thursday: Off-day! No game. To tide you over, here’s a Laureano replay from Wed. Before you press play, begin imagining the Jaws theme song in your head.
Best of Twitter
Interesting news regarding the upcoming Aug 31 trade deadline
There's separate opt-ins for both data and video, as some Alternate Sites are limited in what the facility can accommodate. Clubs were instructed to share whatever info is recorded. Indications are about 2/3 of clubs have opted-in. Data/video flow to clubs hasn't started yet.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) August 13, 2020
Best defense in the majors!
Even our cardboard cutouts can pick it with the best of them
Seven baseballs made their way to the Call 811 Foul Ball Zone during the second homestand, which means Call 811 is donating $567.70 to the Oakland A's Community Fund! Call 811 will donate $81.10 (up to $10,000) to the Community Fund for each ball that lands in their zone. pic.twitter.com/ifWmF8LJCZ— Oakland A's (@Athletics) August 13, 2020
The moment of truth! Can Mateo hack it in the bigs, or will he just hack too much at the plate?
The Padres activated Jorge Mateo, and the outfielder-infielder should soon make his major league debut. Ty France was optioned to the team’s alternate site.— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) August 13, 2020
Bummer news for a national treasure
Hopefully this knee injury isn't too serious for Doolittle. It was a knee injury that waylaid his career as an OF/1B. Sucks to see him struggling with knee problems again. https://t.co/acgvzgsQDY— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) August 13, 2020
At least he’s out of the AL, though the A’s will have to play him this year in L.A.
Mookie Betts has hit 3 home runs tonight.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 14, 2020
It's the 6th time in his career that he has homered 3 times in one game.
He joins Hall of Famer Johnny Mize and Sammy Sosa for the most such games in MLB history. pic.twitter.com/34T9e5SWHb