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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

It’s working: Pitch clock shaves 20 minutes from early games

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BY the time Cubs outfielder Brennen Davis actually saw a pitch from Arizona’s Joe Mantiply, the count was already at a ball and a strike.

Both the hitter and pitcher were penalized at the start of Davis’s at-bat to lead off the top of the third inning of Monday’s spring training game, the latest odd twist in baseball’s speed-up rules.

After Mantiply entered the game as a reliever, he took too long to throw his warmup pitches—then Davis was too slow to get ready for the pitch.

Major League Baseball (MLB) approved its first pitch clock this season, and every day is a new experience for the players as they try to get used to them this spring. On Saturday, Boston’s game against Atlanta ended on a walk-off automatic strike—on Sunday, Mets ace Max Scherzer struck out Washington’s Joey Meneses in just 27 seconds.

“I like the idea of games being shorter,” Marlins reliever Matt Barnes said. “In Boston, we played a nine-inning, four-and-a-half-hour game against New York on a Tuesday. That’s not fun. So I like the idea of it being quicker.”

So far, it’s working.

The new rules, which also limit the number of times a pitcher can throw to first base, have helped cut more than 20 minutes from spring training games through the first weekend, dropping from an average of three hours and one minute last spring to 2:39.

“It’s here, and we have to abide by the rules, and we have to learn how to do it,” Barnes said. “I’ll just have to figure out my routine, adjust my routine a little bit and kind of go from there.”

Image credits: AP

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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