Doubleheaders seven innings
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Report: Doubleheaders could be shortened to seven innings

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are discussing a deal that would reduce the length of doubleheaders from nine innings each game to seven innings. The rule change would be temporary, only for the 2020 season.

Given recent disruptions in the schedule, some teams are looking at playing a handful of doubleheaders throughout the season to make up for lost time. Reducing the length of doubleheaders to seven innings would put less strain on pitchers and wouldn’t require as much roster preparation. Most importantly, during a pandemic, this would reduce the total amount of time players spend in enclosed areas like clubhouses where COVID-19 is more easily spread.

This is just one in an ever-growing series of changes made to baseball games in an atypical year. We’ve seen the National League adopt the DH rule, extra innings start with a runner on second base, and now we may see seven-inning ballgames.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.