Following the postponement of Friday’s game as a protest by both teams, the Oakland A’s and the Houston Astros will play a doubleheader on Saturday. The teams were scheduled to play the opening game of a three-game series in Houston, but both teams walked off the field before the first pitch.
In a statement, the Astros said: “The Houston Astros players, with support from the Oakland players, have decided to postpone tonight’s game. We support their decision to make a strong statement in support of the fight for racial equality. We are proud of our players’ efforts to use their voices to drive necessary change.”
The teams lined up in front of their dugouts as game time approached, with all the players wearing No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball. As silence filled the air in Minute Maid Park, the teams put No. 42 jerseys in the batters’ boxes, and laid a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt on home plate.
After acknowledging each other, the two teams walked off the field, into their dugouts and into the clubhouses. A’s starting pitcher Chris Bassitt, who warmed up in the bullpen prior to the game, will get the start in Game 1. Astros pitcher Lance McCullers, who did not warm up, will get the nod for the Astros.
The Astros and A’s will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day when play is resumed.
Bassitt (2-1, 2.97 ERA) gave up one run on three hits in seven innings in Oakland’s 3-2 victory over Houston Aug. 7. In his career, he is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA in seven appearances (six starts) against the Astros.
McCullers (2-2, 5.74 ERA) is 4-2 with a 4.40 ERA in eight career starts against Oakland. He has not faced the A’s in 2020. Since allowing eight earned runs in 3 2/3 innings on Aug. 5 at Arizona, McCullers has gone 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA and 0.91 WHIP.
Oakland’s Frankie Montas (2-2, 5.22 ERA) and Houston’s Zack Greinke (1-0, 2.29 ERA) will get the nods in the second game. Montas is 3-2 in seven career appearances (five starts) against the Astros with a 3.69 ERA. Greinke is 8-2 in 19 games (15 starts) against the A’s with a 2.61 ERA.
In the wake of Sunday’s police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., 20 MLB teams had chosen not to play games on Wednesday and Thursday, both of which were off days for Houston. Friday was to be the Astros’ first game since Tuesday, after they reworked their schedule this week as Hurricane Laura approached the region.
It was the second straight night that the A’s opted not to play. Their game with the Texas Rangers was postponed Thursday for the same reason.
“The city that we play in has a long history of fighting for what is right. That’s what we are trying to do here,” A’s shortstop Marcus Semien said following Thursday’s cancellation. “I feel like a lot of our fans will have our backs on this. When they turn on what they think will be an A’s game and it’s not on there, they’ll understand why. Take the light off us for a night and educate yourselves on what is going on in our country and how we can make things better.”
–Field Level Media