The Major League Baseball season would be about one-third of the way through its 162-game schedule if not for the coronavirus pandemic, and the NBA and NHL would have been closer to crowning their champions. While NASCAR is running live races without spectators, The Associated Press looks at some of the other sporting events that had been scheduled the week of May 25-31:
MLB: The scandal-tainted former World Series champions Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox would have met for the second consecutive weekend, opposite three interleague series. The Atlanta Braves would have gone across the country to play in Seattle for the first time in six years.
Zack Wheeler’s last start before his 30th birthday could have come against his former team. Wheeler, who struck out 24% of the batters he faced last season with the Mets, left New York in free agency last winter for a $118 million, five-year deal with the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies. Wheeler, whose birthday is Saturday, spent his first five big league seasons in New York, which was set to visit Philly for the first time in a midweek series.
TRIVIA BREAK: The Washington Nationals were 19-31 in late May last season before going on to their first World Series championship. Name the only team to make it to a World Series after a worst record through the first 50 games of the season. (answer at bottom).
PGA TOUR: The second PGA Tour tournament inside the Detroit city limits has been pushed back to the July 4 weekend without spectators. Nate Lashley got his only PGA Tour win at the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club last June, though the tournament had been scheduled a month earlier this year.
LPGA: This year’s ShopRite LPGA Classic has now been rescheduled twice, and will now be played in New Jersey in October. The defending champion is Lexi Thompson, who won last year by making a 20-foot eagle putt on the final hole.
TENNIS: This was supposed to be the first week of the French Open on the red clay courts of Roland Garros, usually the second Grand Slam tournament each year but now postponed to late September. Rafael Nadal won the past three men’s titles in Paris, beating Dominic Thiem for the last two, and 12 overall. Nadal’s 19 career Grand Slam titles are one short of Roger Federer’s record 20 for men. Serena Williams would have made another bid for her 24th major singles trophy to equal Margaret Court for the most in history.
NHL: The best-of-seven Stanley Cup finals would have been underway.
NBA: The conference finals would have been nearing an end to set up the NBA Finals matchup.
TRIVIA ANSWER: The Houston Astros, with Texas natives Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte topping their rotation, were still in the National League in 2005 when they overcame an 18-32 start on the way to their first pennant. They were swept by the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.
Source: Associated Press – STEPHEN HAWKINS