This is the second doubleheader in 12 days between the Angels and Astros. Last week in Houston, the four-game series was maneuvered first by Tropical Storm Laura before it became Hurricane Laura. The planned Thursday finale was turned into a Tuesday doubleheader, and Wednesday night’s finale became an early start, before getting postponed altogether the day before.
That dangling Wednesday game will be made up as the second game on Saturday in Anaheim, with the Astros serving as the home team.
This phenomenon isn’t unique this year, with the truncated schedule and various postponements, either due to weather or COVID-19, producing several doubleheaders with one game featuring a road team playing in their own park. On Friday’s baseball bonanza, during which 20 games were played — the most on one day since 1974 — three of the five doubleheaders included a game with the visiting squad as the home team.
Out of these weird doubleheaders, the answers to future trivia questions are born. Like when Mets shortstop Amed Rosario hit a walk-off home run on August 29 at Yankee Stadium:
But there’s also the pure oddity of some moments, like the nomad Blue Jays, whose real home games are played not in Toronto but Buffalo. But on Friday, they were the home team at Fenway Park in the second game of a doubleheader, which meant Blue Jays promotional material on the video board:
So prepare for the unexpected on Saturday in Anaheim.
One thing is certain, even after Friday’s 11-inning game: the Angels bullpen is relatively rested to cover a pair of (seven-inning) games on Saturday. The rest stemmed from the last doubleheader in Houston 11 days ago.
The Angels had two days off after the series in Houston, and on this homestand the rotation has been very effective while pitching deep into games. Angels starting pitchers have allowed eight runs in seven games, with a 1.62 ERA, 39 strikeouts and 14 walks in 44⅓ innings. That includes Andrew Heaney and Dylan Bundy each pitching seven innings the last two nights.
Griffin Canning, coming off a stellar eight innings of his own last Sunday, starts Game 1 on Saturday. The Game 2 starter is TBD, with manager Joe Maddon saying Friday night the club would likely call up a pitcher. Teams are allowed to add a 29th player for doubleheaders.
Maddon also said Matt Andriese would be down on Saturday after pitching 2⅔ innings on Friday night, but otherwise the Angels would have at least nine relievers available to pitch in Saturday’s doubleheader.
Game 1: Astros at Angels, 4:07 p.m.
Game 2: Angels at Astros, 45 minutes after first game
TV: Fox Sports West