It remains the plan that, after tonight’s game in Kansas City, the Cubs will slide on over to St. Louis for a weekend series against the Cardinals, who’ve been shut down for a week after an outbreak of COVID-19 late last week.
Even if this weekend’s series goes off without a hitch, the Cardinals will have a week’s worth of games to make up before the season is complete. Specifically, if they’re gonna make up the full slate and get to 60 games, it’ll take playing 55 games over the next 52 days.
That could be rough sledding. But, such is the 2020 season, and such is the reality of a team-wide outbreak.
“You can say it isn’t fair in our game, in our society,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt told ESPN. “It’s definitely not what we’re used to. That being said, nobody said it was going to be fair or it was going to be easy. Nobody said you had to have it in a manner that was always equitable. The one thing you would like in a league is equality, but the fact of the matter is the integrity of getting through the season is first and foremost, and there are just going to be situations that come up that impact the ability for it to be fair, and that’s just inherent. So if you know that it’s going to have some imbalance to it and you accept that mentally and emotionally and don’t give in to it and appreciate the fact that it’s just the way it is, then you’ve created a mindset of the right way of how to compete with the different variables that are going to take place, and the challenges that are going to come with it. This is a tough, dedicated group. We welcome the competition, we welcome the challenge. And fair, unfair, whatever, that’s the world we live in right now. No one is going to feel sorry for us.”
Playing that many games in such a short time, loaded with doubleheaders and perhaps a reduced off-day or two, is going to be a grind for the Cardinals. And that’s before you note that they’ll be missing seven players, including Yadi Molina, Carlos Martinez, and Paul DeJong, for part of the stretch. I wouldn’t ask folks to pity the Cardinals – I’m just noting the context.
And I do appreciate Shildt’s attitude. Seeing a team or a manager griping about the way the revamped schedule plays out after a team-wide outbreak would be exactly the kind of thing that makes getting through this season all the more difficult.
Hopefully things proceed smoothly this weekend for the Cubs and Cardinals, and the Cubs can send the Cardinals off on their way to completing 55 games in 52 days … with three straight losses to begin the stretch.