By Jayson Stark, Patrick Mooney, Nick Groke, C. Trent Rosecrans, Andy McCullough
MLB’s opening day 15 games averaged 2 hours and 45 minutes on Thursday, 26 minutes shorter than last year’s average and the start of the regular season on the pitch clock introduced to shorten games as part of the league’s new rule changes. is successful. Here’s what you need to know.
- Last year’s season opener consisted of seven matches, averaging 3 hours and 11 minutes.
- None of the first seven games completed on Thursday lasted as long as last year’s season opener average.
- Of the first seven games completed this year, only two were longer than last year’s opening day shortest game. His shortest time in the season opener last year was 2 hours and 49 minutes.
- Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman committed the first regular-season pitch-clock violation, and Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers was the first batter to be called for a pitch-clock violation on Thursday.
More Notable Numbers
On Thursday, one of two games lasting more than 2 hours, 49 minutes in the first seven games was the Orioles’ 10-9 victory over the Red Sox in 3 hours, 10 minutes.
The Reds vs. Pirates game lasted 3 hours and 2 minutes. In the matchup, he walked 15 and he struck out 26, and neither team’s starter made him past five innings.
athleticInstant analysis of:
How did the pitch clock work?
By the end of spring training, not only did everyone get used to the pitch clock, it seemed they had mostly forgotten about it — 1 hour 52 minutes, as Reds starter Graham Ashcraft did late in the spring. Except when celebrating the match of
But on Thursday, both the Pirates’ and Reds’ starters committed pitch-clock violations, and both of those at-bats ended in home runs by the hitters. Probably not, but the regular season has more signs of shaking off than the spring, when the results don’t matter.
Ultimately, even though the game felt slow, especially with 15 walks and 26 strikeouts, the announced game time was still 3:02. — rosecrans
Pitchclock results canceled for Reds, Pirates opener games
I am here to report that this watch is still working on the West Coast. Watch the match between the Padres and Rocky. San Diego starter Blake Snell worked his usual inefficient clip. He needed 24 balls to complete the first inning. He threw his 70 pitches with his 3. The reliever behind him didn’t do much better as he lost 7-2 to Colorado. A box score suggests a slow-paced, lagging contest. Yet the game he finished in 2:56, 10 minutes shorter than his 2022 average per game.
Other endgames were equally refreshing. The Mariners pitched to the Guardians in 2:14 to earn him a 3–0 victory. The Athletics beat the Angels 2-1 in 2:30. The Dodgers overwhelmed the Diamondbacks 8-2 in just 2:35. This was a game with five Arizona pitchers and multiple pitching his changes midway through the inning.
It’s hard to refute the early results. As for the long-term effects of watches, time will tell. But there is no doubt about dead air reduction. — McCullough
What does the opening time tell us about the influence of the clock?
The spring training game progressed at a pace not seen in over 40 years.Spring games average 2 hours and 35 minutes — 26 minutes shorter than last spring and 31 minutes shorter than last year’s regular season average.
No one in the sport thought the pace was sustainable this year after the season started, for all sorts of logical reasons. But 2:40? Maybe 2:45? There was genuine optimism that an average somewhere in that range was doable, and Thursday’s game seemed to prove it.
He averaged just 2:45 over the first 9 games of the day. 5 was shorter than that. Only 4 longer.
Even a 10-9 game in Boston — It featured 44 baserunners, 10 pitching changes, 2 pinch hitters and 2 pinch runners — Only lasted 3:10. Opening day a year ago, 3-1 Astros vs. Angels — Featuring just 18 baserunners — It dragged on at 3:15. And he didn’t complete a single game all day in 2:45.
So what has Thursday’s game time taught us? The pitch clock can lead to violations and unintended consequences. But do they work? Will they vacuum all the dead time out of these games? Can they cut the game time down to a manageable length? — Stark
what they say
Stroman committed an offense in the third inning in Thursday’s 4-0 victory over the Brewers, while Christian Yelich went without an at-bat. The violation was called after Stroman saw Bryce Turan leading second base. He avoided a final walk to Yelich after the automatic ball went to a 2-2 count.
Stroman spent some of his spring training in the World Baseball Classic at a time when he didn’t have a pitching clock and admitted he sometimes felt “very rushed” on the mound.
“I don’t think people really realize that it just adds a whole other layer of thinking,” Strowman said. You’re trying to worry about the guys on base. You’re trying to worry about your grip. There’s so much going on right now.”
He gave up 3 walks and 3 hits and had 8 strikeouts. Stroman said he is a pitcher who “can get off the mound and breathe when he needs to.”
“I don’t get the chance to do that anymore,” Strowman said. “Breathing is very important to align the body and put yourself in the best position to get the ball to the plate. Like I said, it ruins the pre-pitch routine of many players. , which could ultimately affect their pitching.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, speaking on-air during the Rangers’ telecast Thursday, said the league would not “get on its feet” when it comes to the pitch clock. During spring training, coaches and players throughout the league have made it clear that a game could end with a pitch clock violation or be temporarily suspended. He expressed concern that a tight match could end too quickly.
While Manfred was speaking, Jacob deGrom’s PitchCom device malfunctioned, interrupting the game in Texas for several minutes.
In the Red Sox game against the Orioles, Devers was fouled in the eighth inning for walking out of the batter’s box and not being set within eight seconds of returning. He had already struck out twice, so he struck out after the violation. Baltimore he won 10-9.
Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson was asked about the rules before Wednesday’s workout.
“Oh, I have a lot of ideas,” said Swanson. “I don’t need any of them to annoy me. Of course I think there are parts that can be adjusted. But as I said very early on, we have three options. One is to complain about it all year long, the second is to accept it and find ways to use it to our advantage. I don’t think that will happen either.The only option left is to accept it and use it to your advantage and do your best to play this new brand of baseball.”
MLB introduced a pitch clock in the spring with the goal of simplifying fan entertainment. The pitcher has 20 seconds to initiate slow motion with runners on base and 15 seconds to initiate slow motion with empty base. The umpire evaluates the ball against a pitcher who does not initiate motion before the clock runs out, evaluates a strike against a batter not in the box, and “warns the pitcher” within eight seconds.
The commissioner’s office announced in September that the introduction of a pitch clock in the minor leagues last year had cut the average game time by 25 minutes.
(Photo: Michael Reeves/Getty Images)