3 bizarre facts stemming from the Cardinals' extended coronavirus absence

Mark Townsend
·Yahoo Sports Contributor
·4 min read

It has been more than two weeks since the St. Louis Cardinals last played a game.

A COVID-19 outbreak that started in Milwaukee has since resulted in nine Cardinals players and seven members testing positive. It has also led to four straight Cardinals series and a total of 14 games being postponed, if we count Friday’s scheduled game, which will now be played as a doubleheader on Saturday.

That growing list includes the Field of Dreams game that was originally scheduled to feature the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees, but was switched to St. Louis when the 2020 schedule was reworked and shortened to 60 games. That game would have taken place Thursday night in Dyersville, Iowa.

Due to their extended absence, the Cardinals have only played five games so far. They are currently 2-3. Meanwhile, the 10 teams playing in the AL and NL West will reach or surpass the one-third mark (20 games) this weekend. Even the Miami Marlins, who were sidelined for one week by their own coronavirus outbreak, are up to 12 games played. That's how much ground St. Louis has to make up.

MLB announced the Cardinals’ tweaked schedule on Friday, adding seven new doubleheaders to the slate and setting them up to play 53 games between Saturday and the end of the regular season on Sept. 27 — and that only gets them to 58 games.

The missed games have created an imbalanced schedule that MLB is now hoping to remedy with those doubleheaders. They have also led to some bizarre developments on the schedule, in the standings and on the stat sheet. Here are a few examples.

The St. Louis Cardinals have been limited to five games this season. Here are some bizarre stats stemming from their absence. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Cardinals have been limited to five games this season. Here are some bizarre stats stemming from their absence. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Cardinals have 3 games postponed in single day

We mentioned the Field of Dreams game.

That game was originally postponed so St. Louis could squeeze in a doubleheader Thursday against the Detroit Tigers. However, both of those games were postponed this week when the Cardinals didn’t receive clearance to travel.

How strange does that look?

We’ve seen doubleheaders postponed before. Never have we seen multiple games involving one team in multiple states postponed in one day. It’s one of those “only in 2020” things.

Cardinals and Cubs tied in the loss column

This is more about how good the Chicago Cubs have been this season.

After Wednesday’s win against the Cleveland Indians, the Cubs improved to a league-best 12-3 on the season. As noted, the Cardinals are 2-3.

Again, that’s so strange to look at.

The Cardinals are five games back. Yet they are behind the Reds and Brewers, who are 5 1/2 games back, all because of how few games they’ve played.

And then we have the Pittsburgh Pirates. Not only does Pittsburgh have the worst record in MLB this season. They’re the only team that has lost to St. Louis in 2020. The Cardinals won two of three to open the season at Busch Stadium.

Charlie Blackmon and Cardinals have same number of hits

It’s not unusual for a Colorado Rockies hitter to put up astronomical offensive numbers.

What All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon has done this season is two or three levels above that.

Despite going hitless on Wednesday, Blackmon leads MLB with 34 hits this season. That’s six more than the next closest hitter — DJ LeMahieu of the New York Yankees — and the same number as the entire St. Louis Cardinals team in 2020.

Yeah, yeah, we know. The Cardinals have only played five games. But guess what, Blackmon has only played 18 games. He’s reached 34 hits in 85 fewer at-bats.

Blackmon is 34-for-72 on the season, good for a .472 batting average.

St. Louis is 34-for-157, which is a .216 batting average.

He’s also done this.

Blackmon will cool off eventually. We think.

The Cardinals will also return. Hopefully sooner than later.

Above all else, everyone is hoping those impacted on the Cardinals will make a full recovery.

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