The first intrusion of COVID-19 into the Mariners’ 60-game schedule is up to three games. MLB announced Tuesday morning that the final game Thursday in a three-game series at T-Mobile Park with the Oakland A’s was postponed, as were the first two Tuesday and Wednesday, because of a positive test among the A’s while the team was in Houston.
In a press statement, MLB said the postponements were “out of an abundance of caution and to allow additional testing within the Oakland Athletics organization . . . There have been no other positive tests among A’s personnel following the initial positive test. A’s personnel who have not been identified as close contacts have been approved to travel back to Oakland today.”
The games will be made up with a doubleheader in Seattle Sept. 14, which was an off-day for both teams, and a doubleheader in Oakland, the next-to-last day of the regular season. Each of the games in the doubleheaders will be seven innings.
While an inconvenience for the Mariners (15-22), third in the American League West, the A’s (22-12) lead the division with the AL’s second-best record. The likely strain of the doubleheaders on the pitching staff will be no help in pursuit of the top seed in the eight-team playoffs.
But the Mariners do welcome the break after a week of emotional tests beyond the games. The team postponed a game at San Diego in protest over the police shooting of an unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI., and then said goodbye to two of the club’s more popular players, Taijuan Walker and Austin Nola, in deals ahead of Monday’s trade deadline.
“With this road trip, guys are tired with the back-to-back day games, and all the emotional stuff that has gone on,” Manager Scott Servais said on a Zoom conference following a 2-1 win Monday over the Angels in Anaheim. “We will not show up (Tuesday) and we will have a workout later in the day on Wednesday and see what Thursday brings.”