Let’s Play Two

Growing up one of my favorite baseball players was Chicago Cubs shortstop Ernie Banks. He was known as ‘Mr. Cub’ and his enthusiasm for the game was second to none. He is perhaps best known for his memorable quote, “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame, let’s play two!”

Banks was of course referring to playing a double header. The notion of a double header has gone the way of the four-man pitching staff. Teams and players cringe at the thoughts of having two games in one day.

They much prefer spreading out the games to multiple days to spread revenue out over more days and minimize the wear and tear two games takes on a player. Now, the only way a double header would occur would be in the case of a rain out and teams are forced to make up the game.

For Arizona Diamondbacks fans that means we will never have the opportunity to see a double header at Chase Field. A fact I constantly lament to my wife when a game ends at Chase Field after nine innings.

These days, playing two usually means a two-game series. These do not happen very often but this week is the annual scheduling anomaly where teams will play two two-game series on Monday-Tuesday and again on Wednesday-Thursday before Interleague play begins on Friday.

In the case of the Arizona Diamondbacks the schedule is especially brutal. They have a brief two game series in Miami Florida then board a plane back to Arizona where they will host the surging San Francisco Giants in their first trip to Chase Field this season.

Other than frequent flier miles there is not much you can say positively about this stretch of four games. Given the struggles the Diamondbacks have had so far this season, the schedulers at Major League Baseball are not doing Arizona any favors.

Continuing the rollercoaster trend that has followed the Diamondbacks all season they opened up the two game series against the Marlins with a pitching gem by Edwin Jackson. Arizona drew first blood in the series winning game one by a score of 5-1.

The Diamondbacks have an opportunity for a series sweep by winning the second and final game. I don’t think I can remember when the last time was we talked about the Diamondbacks sweeping an opponent. Maybe two game series aren’t so bad after all.


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