Phillies: 5 unforgettable things from 2020 home games
By Matt Rappa
4. The Miami Marlins COVID-19 scare
As much as the anticipation grew ever since MLB and the MLBPA announced a 60-game 2020 season would take place beginning July 23 and 24, it nearly all went for naught because of the COVID-19 scare between the Phillies and Miami Marlins.
Veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen was disappointed about the team’s fourth game of the season; not so much about the result opposite Cy Young contender Gerrit Cole, but for the reason why it took place a week later than it should have.
McCutchen voiced his thoughts about the Phillies’ games being postponed due to the Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak to The Athletic’s “Starkville” podcast. “I’m sitting here at home, watching 28 to 27 to 26 other teams play, and we’re sitting at home — all [testing] negative by the way,” he said. “And we have to watch this happen while we did nothing wrong. So for me, that was very upsetting. It was very upsetting that we did everything right, and we were still the ones paying for it.”
Essentially, there had been reports that Marlins players allegedly did not properly socially distance while in Atlanta for a summer camp exhibition game. Jorge Alfaro was pulled from starting in the opening series, and both teams reportedly still decided to play a game despite knowing that a possible COVID-19 scare was building behind the scenes.
No one seems to know what actually took place and the truth; but, thankfully, anyone who did test positive during this early-season scare has returned the health.
3. The Phanatic still lives on
No fans, no problem for the Phillie Phanatic. Instead of entertaining fans in person, he did a great job doing so via the television screens.
The Phanatic’s routines never get old, either. Just recently, he was seen covering up a cutout of the infamous 1993 World Series Blue Jays player Joe Carter with a Phillies t-shirt, headband, scarf, and hat. Earlier last week, the Phanatic was spotted in the stands near a Mets fan cutout, before he dumped a bucket of popcorn onto it — just like he would do if the cutout was a real person.
2. Scheduling, doubleheaders, rules
The Phillies were supposed to play a four-game home-and-home set against the New York Yankees following their season-opening Marlins series. Since the set got postponed, eventually the series shifted to just one of the originally scheduled two games behind played at Yankee Stadium.
Due to scheduling, the Phillies wound up playing 16 of their first 17 games at home through August 16, albeit they had gone just 8-9 in that stretch. Then, the team embarked on a 10-game road trip that wound up only being nine games, with the Phillies and Nationals agreeing to postpone a game in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting.
All in all, the seven-inning doubleheader games and other rules unique to the 2020 season, surely will not be forgotten either — including the runner on second in extra-innings rule. The Phillies finally benefited from the doubleheader this past Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays, sweeping both games for their first such twin bill performance since 2012.