This year, short doubleheaders affect the fan experience

Cubs fans might have seen a downside to the seven-inning rule for doubleheaders, which began in the MLB last season in response to the pandemic and high number of canceled games.

After Monday's postponement, the Cubs decided to play a day-night doubleheader against the Dodgers on Tuesday, which meant anyone who already had tickets for Tuesday's regularly-scheduled game would get seven innings instead of nine.

Manager David Ross said he didn't know why that plan was chosen. Both teams have off days on Thursday.

"I think they're going back to L.A., right?" Ross said. "And those off-days are very precious for us throughout 162. You try to do all you can to maximize those off days. But I was not involved in any of the discussions."

After Game 1, Cubs winning pitcher Kyle Hendricks was asked if he thinks the shortened doubleheaders will be a permanent fixture.

"That's a good question. Guys definitely don't mind it," Hendricks said after getting the complete-game win. "Two nines in a day is a lot of baseball for sure. Most guys don't seem to mind the seven-inning games. For pitchers, it gives us a chance to go deep in a game and finish it like that. There's positives and negatives to everything."

• Cincinnati Reds pitcher Amir Garrett was suspended seven games by MLB for inciting a benches-clearing incident on Saturday against the Cubs. He is reportedly appealing the suspension. Cubs shortstop Javy Baez was fined an undisclosed amount for jumping over the dugout rail and confronting Garrett. The Reds pitcher walked toward home plate and yelled at Anthony Rizzo after a strikeout.

• Allowed an extra player on the roster for Tuesday's doubleheader, the Cubs chose right-handed pitcher Kohl Stewart. He was the No. 4 overall pick of the 2013 draft by the Minnesota Twins, and appeared in 17 games for the Twins in 2018 and '19. Heading into Tuesday's action, he had yet to make his Cubs debut.

• Tuesday marked Opening day in minor league baseball, which was eventful since the entire enterprise was wiped out in 2020. Shortstop Ed Howard, the Cubs' 2020 first-round pick, made his official minor league debut with the Low A Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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