In a normal season, most teams play 162 games. This year, they will play 60.
In a normal season, Cy Young candidates typically clear 200 innings. This year, they will be lucky to rack up 90.
In a normal season, home run leaders routinely reach the 40s and 50s. This year, it would take an all-time performance to get into the 30s.
The 2020 MLB season is going to be different in nearly every way. So much so that Nationals reliever and reigning last-out-of-the-World-Series getter Daniel Hudson still isn’t sure how he’s going to feel about how this year’s champion will stack up when compared to those of full 162-game seasons.
“Obviously, it’s not going to feel the same,” Hudson said in a Zoom press conference Monday. “Even if we don’t win it, whoever does win it—I’ve thought about that a lot like, how are we supposed to feel about that? It’s only 60 games, we’re playing 100 games less than we normally do and…what was the Nationals’ record through 60 games last year? I mean, they weren’t even close to the playoffs.”
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Washington famously stumbled out to a 19-31 start last season before turning its season around, but even by the 60-game mark they were only 27-33 and fourth in the NL East standings. No team aspiring to make the postseason this year will be able to afford that kind of start, making for a very different kind of season where every win matters much more than it usually does.
“What does 60 games prove? I don’t know,” Hudson said. “Can you really figure out who’s the best baseball team in the league from 60 games? Probably not. But I think it’s going to be competitive and, in the end, that’s what we want to do. We want to go out and play and be competitive against each other.
“That’s what we’ve done our whole lives so if it’s only for 60 games then that’s it and whoever’s left standing at the end, you can probably ask them about it then. But I can’t tell you how whoever’s there at the end is gonna feel about it, if they’re going to think it’s legit, I don’t know. But if we’re standing at the end then I’ll probably [be] just as happy as I was last year when we were last standing.”
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Even though the 2020 season is going to produce some anomalies, Hudson acknowledged that all 30 teams are on even playing field facing the same set of obstacles in order to reach the playoffs.
“It is what it is,” Hudson said. “It’s difficult but it’s difficult for everybody, it’s not just us. It’s not like we’re going out there and it’s this situation for us only. There’s a lot of people across the league trying to figure this out and nobody really knows exactly what to do and it’s just going to be a guess-and-test thing.”
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