MLB’s pitch clock really sped things up on opening day
The pitch clock, mixed reviews and all, seems to be working.
Six of Major League Baseball’s first 11 games Thursday were over before three hours had elapsed, and only one — Toronto’s 10-9 win over St. Louis — lasted more than 3:10.
According to The Athletic, the average opening day game in 2022 lasted 3:11, with the shortest game lasting 2:49.
A year later, 12 MLB teams completed their 2023 debuts before 2:49 elapsed.
The Pitch Clock was the focus of MLB’s preseason rule changes, serving as a key adjustment for pitchers and managers to consider throughout spring training.
Some enjoyed it, or at least tolerated the swing.
Others despised it.
It forced routines and rhythms to change, and some, including the Mets’ Max Scherzer, tested their limits during those Spring Games.
When bases are empty, pitchers now have 15 seconds between pitches, and that number increases to 20 when a batter reaches.
The other side of the rule requires batters to be stationed in their box, leaving the timer eight seconds – with one batt added to their count, which serves as a penalty.
There is also 30 seconds between bats.
There were a few violations across the league on Opening Day, including one in the Mets’ game involving Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil.
After a foul ball in the sixth inning, Alonso took too long to return to first base and a shot was added to McNeil’s tally.
That made it 2-0 after just one pitch, but McNeil still delivered an RBI single.
Former Met Marcus Stroman earned the credit of committing the first pitch clock violation of the regular season earlier in the afternoon because the Cubs pitcher spent too much time monitoring a second-base runner and his movement didn’t start on time.
Instead, the home plate umpire rose from his stance, pointed at Stroman and signaled the infraction – resulting in a ball being added to the count and making it 2-2 instead of 1-2 for Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich.
Baltimore’s 10-9 win over Boston, which had the second-longest length among early games, showed the first batsman being called out because of a violation.
Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers had both feet in the batter’s box, but he wasn’t ready and faced the pitcher.
Instead of setting up for a 1-2 pitch, the extra punch ended the star’s at-bat.
https://nypost.com/2023/03/31/mlbs-pitch-clock-really-sped-things-up-on-opening-day/ MLB’s pitch clock really sped things up on opening day