The Detroit Tigers played in Major League's first ever scheduled seven inning game on Sunday, which leads to a pressing question.

In the opener of the first seven-inning doubleheader in Major League Baseball history, Shogo Akiyama hit an RBI single in the seventh that sent the Cincinnati Reds over the Detroit Tigers 4-3 Sunday.

Because of the shortened season due to the novel coronavirus, MLB changed the rules on the length of games in doubleheaders, effective August 1.

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Official Baseball Rule 7.01(a) ("Regulation Games"), a regulation game in both games of a double-header shall consist of seven innings, unless extended because of a tie score.  In this respect, the "Extra Innings" rule contained in Section 5.1.2 of the 2020 Operations Manual shall apply to each half-inning following the completion of the seventh inning.

 

Please note that OBR 7.01(c) shall still apply, such that if a game is called, it is a regulation game (1) if five innings have been completed; (2) if the home team has scored more runs in four or four and a fraction half-innings than the visiting team has scored in five completed half-innings; or (3) if the home team scores one or more runs in its half of the fifth inning to tie the score.

It was strange from the start—the scoreboard at Comerica Park listed seven innings instead of the usual nine and—sensibly—there was no seventh inning stretch in a game that took 2 hours, 26 minutes.

And while it was former Tigers player Nick Castellanos who was the hero homering twice and driving in three runs for Cinci—it was current Tiger’s reliever Tyler Alexander who did the most to speed the game along—striking out the first nine batters he faced to tie the AL record for consecutive strikeouts.

In true Tiger fashion as of late, the Tigers also dropped the 7-inning nightcap, 4-0.

Which leads to the question, do they still have a seventh inning stretch, or is that moved up to the 5th inning? I suppose it doesn't really matter because THERE ARE NO FANS!!!