PITTSBURGH -- Major League Baseball announced on Sunday night that the Pirates’ upcoming three-game series against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, scheduled for Monday through Wednesday, has been postponed.
In a statement, MLB cited the recent positive COVID-19 results in the Cardinals organization and a need to conduct additional testing while their players and staff are quarantined. It is unknown when the series will be made up. Further information regarding the Cardinals’ resumption of play will be announced later in the week, according to MLB.
The Cardinals’ coronavirus outbreak has affected 16 members of their organization: nine players and seven staff members. While in isolation, the team will continue to be tested daily to stop the spread of the virus. While this is the first disruption of Pittsburgh’s schedule due to COVID-19, St. Louis has not played a game since July 29.
The Pirates entered their 2-1 loss to the Tigers on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park knowing that at least Monday’s game would be postponed. As a result, the team canceled its scheduled Sunday night flight to St. Louis and waited for word from MLB.
The Pirates are dealing with an injury-depleted pitching staff, and have not had an off-day since July 30. Manager Derek Shelton said before Sunday’s game the team’s relievers would likely avoid pitching in any scenario on Monday. But they do want to make sure their hitters stay sharp and their starting pitchers get their work in at PNC Park before returning to play Thursday in Cincinnati.
“I think we're grateful that we get a day off. It's been obviously a tough stretch. Our pitching could use it,” catcher Jacob Stallings said Sunday morning. “And you know, we've had a tough schedule to start the year. So, grateful for the day off, but then also everybody doesn't want three games canceled; we want to get those games in. But everybody is good with it."
Left-hander Steven Brault, who pitched Friday and Sunday, said the team will try to treat the postponed series like an All-Star break, staying in shape but giving their bodies some time off before another long stretch of games.
“It’s just one of those things, man. You just have to roll with the punches,” reliever Chris Stratton said. “It’s unfortunate how everything has played out so far. ... Just have to be ready to go whenever the number is called.”