It’s beginning to look like it might be a good year for baseball fans, as long as there aren’t any last-minute surprises. MLB Spring Training games are in full swing and Opening Day is still scheduled for April 1. As an added bonus, a number of ball parks are now expected to allow fans to attend games to get the season going, even if it means keeping capacities reduced temporarily. Still, compared to last year, any attendance is an improvement. With a number of games wrapping up yesterday and plenty more to come, there’s non-stop action to be had.
Pirates, Rays Swing Deep
The Pittsburgh Pirates had a field day yesterday with the Atlanta Braves. They finished the game with an impressive 10-1 win, coming after a 13-1 win against the Baltimore Orioles this past Sunday. Today, they take on the New York Yankees as they look to repeat their performance.
The Tampa Bay Rays didn’t have a great game on Sunday, losing 8-4 to the Minnesota Twins. Yesterday, they turned things around, taking down the Boston Red Sox 13-3. Perhaps giving two of its pitchers to the Rays a couple of weeks ago wasn’t such a good idea for Boston. Next up, the Rays will take on the Twins today as they look for revenge.
Yesterday, the Detroit Tigers edged out the Yankees 6-5 as Riley Greene hit a major double to give the Tigers the advantage. It didn’t help that the Yankees gave up a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the eighth before Luis Garcia fell apart on the mound. His weak performance allowed the Tigers to stage a comeback and seal the Yankees’ fate.
Padres And Dodgers Have Good Days
The San Diego Padres started slow against the Chicago White Sox yesterday, but turned things around late in the game to win 4-2. A late solo homer by Wil Myers fired up the team and launched four straight runs to put the Padres over the top. Today, they’ll take on the Colorado Rockies, who beat the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday by a score of 11-4.
The Los Angeles Dodgers bested the Cincinnati Reds yesterday, 5-3. Jimmy Nelson pitched two perfect innings, giving a taste of what’s to come from the Dodgers dugout this season. The Dodgers take on the Diamondbacks today.
The Chicago Cubs squeezed out a win against the Oakland Athletics yesterday, taking the game 9-8. A walk-off grand slam by Rafael Ortega sealed the deal and also gave Ortega some extra bonus points to possibly be part of the permanent squad. However, with only three homers in 410 at-bats in MLB, he is still struggling. The Cubs and the San Francisco Giants will meet today.
Ball Park Attendance Possible
When the Diamondbacks open their season against the Reds on April 9, they’ll be able to have up to 12,000 fans in the stands. That represents around 25% of the normal capacity and comes after recent changes to COVID-19 protocols. Seating won’t be normal, though, as Chase Field is now set up to offer “pod seating” that is separated by six feet.
The Orioles are going to allow fans, as well, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards has been approved for up to 50% its normal capacity. This means as many as 23,000 fans can attend the team’s Opening Day game against the Red Sox on April 8. In addition, Busch Stadium will support up to 14,600 fans when the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Milwaukee Brewers there on April 8. That represents 32% of the normal capacity.
30 ball parks, all but one expected to allow some sort of attendance. The amount varies significantly and four are still “to be determined.” However, Nationals Park, home to the Washington Nationals, is still listed as closed to fans for Opening Day when the Nats take on the Mets. That game is scheduled for April 1 and things could change between now and then.