Beat The Clock

Sad Sam Jones

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It does seem odd that the batter is allowed one timeout per PA but the pitcher isn't.
I'm fairly certain the pitcher is allowed two disengagements per at-bat. However, that covers timeouts and pickoff attempts. When they say the pitcher is allowed two pickoff attempts I believe they're really referring to disengagements, so my understanding is that if he's already used those, he would no longer be permitted a timeout. I'm not sure if that covers stepping off and asking for a new baseball or not, since the clock is only paused in that circumstance.
 

SoxJox

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Dec 22, 2003
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Stats from Day 1:

* Average game was played in 2:44.

* 10/15 were played in less than 3 hours. (9/10 under 2:45).

* 5 shutouts certainly helped speed things up. But also, lots of pitchers (and mid-inning changes) are used this early in the season. Once that declines, almost every game should be 2:45 or less.

62879
 

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
15,789
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Love the pitch clock, but hate the batter clock. If the batter isn’t in the box and ready when the pitcher throws, tough beans. And I’d make the clock 20 seconds in all cases, runners on or not, for simplicity’s sake. Besides, 15 sometimes seems too rushed.
 

simplicio

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Love the pitch clock, but hate the batter clock. If the batter isn’t in the box and ready when the pitcher throws, tough beans. And I’d make the clock 20 seconds in all cases, runners on or not, for simplicity’s sake. Besides, 15 sometimes seems too rushed.
We've been over this; pitchers don't want to throw a baseball a hundred miles an hour toward a person who isn't paying attention.
 

geoflin

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And I’d make the clock 20 seconds in all cases, runners on or not, for simplicity’s sake. Besides, 15 sometimes seems too rushed.
At the spring training games I attended it wasn't unusual for the pitcher to begin his windup at around 10 seconds (5 seconds left) with the bases empty. But one problem I did notice is that when the pitcher got a new ball he really didn't have time to rub it up.
 

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
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We've been over this; pitchers don't want to throw a baseball a hundred miles an hour toward a person who isn't paying attention.
Pitchers not named Max Scherzer, perhaps.

Seriously, batters will quickly learn to pay attention. The 20-second NCAA pitch clock works just fine without a batters’ clock.
 

lexrageorge

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Pitchers not named Max Scherzer, perhaps.

Seriously, batters will quickly learn to pay attention. The 20-second NCAA pitch clock works just fine without a batters’ clock.
Batters will adjust. Better to have 2-3 additional strikeouts over 162 games than having a batter get killed while they "learn to pay attention".
 

simplicio

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Or they'll know that pitchers won't throw to an unaware batter and use that to control when the pitch gets thrown.

What's the problem with having a batter's clock exactly?
 

8slim

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Or they'll know that pitchers won't throw to an unaware batter and use that to control when the pitch gets thrown.

What's the problem with having a batter's clock exactly?
There’s no problem. Just get in the box and look by :08. It’s not rocket science.
 

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
15,789
Michigan
Batters will adjust. Better to have 2-3 additional strikeouts over 162 games than having a batter get killed while they "learn to pay attention".
False choice. The absence of a batters’ clock won’t lead to batters being killed. That’s just silly. As far as I know, no NCAA batters have ever been killed due to the absence of a batters’ clock. But you’re right that batters will adjust. Either way.

Or they'll know that pitchers won't throw to an unaware batter and use that to control when the pitch gets thrown.
Why would pitchers refrain from throwing a strike to an “unaware” batter? Are you suggesting batters will pretend not to pay attention to game the pitch clock?
What's the problem with having a batter's clock exactly?
It’s an unnecessary complication and requires an umpire to make a subjective call he’s often not in a good position to make. Like bad balls-and-strike calls, It doesn’t much matter most of the time.

Again, I’m simply saying the NCAA pitch clock seems to me simpler and less fraught with likelihood of game-changing errors. I’m not railing against the MLB rule.
 

lexrageorge

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Why would pitchers refrain from throwing a strike to an “unaware” batter? Are you suggesting batters will pretend not to pay attention to game the pitch clock?
It’s an unnecessary complication and requires an umpire to make a subjective call he’s often not in a good position to make. Like bad balls-and-strike calls, It doesn’t much matter most of the time.

Again, I’m simply saying the NCAA pitch clock seems to me simpler and less fraught with likelihood of game-changing errors. I’m not railing against the MLB rule.
It's not subjective. It will be obvious when the batter is ready, and the umpire will be able to see it as well.
 

simplicio

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Why would pitchers refrain from throwing a strike to an “unaware” batter? Are you suggesting batters will pretend not to pay attention to game the pitch clock?
Because sometimes you mess up the pitch, and once it's left your hand you can only hope the batter can get out of the way, which is hard when they didn't see you throw it.
 

luckiestman

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Baseball is so back. I watched some Mets/Marlins and the place of play is so good.
 

NorthwestSoxGuy

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Oct 15, 2022
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I personally like the 15 second limit for pitchers when there's no runners on the bases. I know it'll take some getting used to for a lot of players and fans, but I think it's very beneficial. And 20 seconds WITH runners on the bases also seems to work great.
 

NDame616

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It's not subjective. It will be obvious when the batter catcher is ready, and the umpire will be able to see it as well.

If there's something we can all agree on, is that MLB umpires will always mess up subjective calls
 

Sleepy108

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I suspected that the new pitch clock would have an impact on the running game but I never thought it would be this much of a disadvantage for the Red Sox. The stolen base record for a season should be changing in the near future. Wow
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I'm genuinely surprised at how many national baseball commentators are so wowed by the pitch clock. I guess I figured more of them went to minor league games sometimes? Anyone who's been to a Sea Dogs game had to have been drooling for this in the majors. I know I was. It's just so. much. better.

All of the hand-wringing about "baseball's biggest moments" is just baffling to me. The other day, when the dropped pop-up happened, that inning would have dragged and dragged, but instead the pitcher had to get up there and keep firing and none of the excitement was lost. I'm genuinely thankful they made this happen.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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It certainly appears like Machado is in the box and alert to the pitcher (he looks out at him) even though he's still playing with his gloves. I'd have rather seen the ump let the play go and have the pitcher just groove one down the middle for strike three.

That said, if the ump doesn't call Machado there for not being ready in time, it opens the possibility that the pitcher waits out Machado (even though he doesn't have to) and gets called for a ball when he exceeds the clock. I'd love to have an explanation from Machado as to why he thought he could stand there playing with his gloves and not risk a violation or an uncontested pitch.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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I saw the SD video of that (another thread maybe? Or just a “headline”) which had the clock up. When he goes to call time the clock had hit 7 seconds. Pretty clear that he wasn’t ready at the 8 second mark.
 

Trlicek's Whip

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I like the back hand "wait" gesture Machado busts out at 7.5 seconds (that Derek Jeter perfected).

It's fun to think about batters from previous generations that would have been challenged by the pitch clock rules. Mike Hargrove is probably the GOAT on that list.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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Red Sox through 9 games (game times):

2022
3:56
2:58
3:40
2:50
2:49
3:51
3:33
2:45
2:56
AVG: 3:15:20

2023
3:10
3:04
2:44
2:57
2:36
2:32
2:32
2:38
2:38
Avg: 2:45:20

So a full half hour faster per game through nine games. Whatever else these rules are doing, they're definitely speeding up the games.
 

tims4wins

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Red Sox through 9 games (game times):

2022
3:56
2:58
3:40
2:50
2:49
3:51
3:33
2:45
2:56
AVG: 3:15:20

2023
3:10
3:04
2:44
2:57
2:36
2:32
2:32
2:38
2:38
Avg: 2:45:20

So a full half hour faster per game through nine games. Whatever else these rules are doing, they're definitely speeding up the games.
It was never, ever about commercials, pitching changes, intentional walks, etc. It was always about time between pitches. So glad they finally made this change because not only are games played in less time, they are more fast-paced and enjoyable to watch.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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It was never, ever about commercials, pitching changes, intentional walks, etc. It was always about time between pitches. So glad they finally made this change because not only are games played in less time, they are more fast-paced and enjoyable to watch.
Yes. More action = a more fun product to watch.

I want to see things happen on the baseball field. I want to see guys on base, runners moving along, balls put in play. I want to see STUFF. Not just a pitcher stand there shaking off five signs, or a hitter stepping out of the box again and again.

Let's go. Let's play ball.
 

snowmanny

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Yeah. The thing with an average time of 3:15 is it means A LOT of games are going to be 3:30 or longer (4/10 in BJs 2022 ten game sample' 0/10 for 2023). My tolerance for non-special (i.e. not a particularly big game) three and a half hour baseball games is near zero at this point. The strong probability the game might be like that deterred me quite a bit. This is better.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Yeah. The thing with an average time of 3:15 is it means A LOT of games are going to be 3:30 or longer (4/10 in Bjs 2022 ten game sample' 0/10 for 2023). My tolerance for non-special (i.e. not a particularly big game) three and a half hour baseball games is near zero at this point.
Agreed. Though honestly, the drawn out drama of the 2004 ALCS when Sox-Yanks were going 4+ hours was......unfathomably great theater.
 

snowmanny

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Agreed. Though honestly, the drawn out drama of the 2004 ALCS when Sox-Yanks were going 4+ hours was......unfathomably great theater.
Yes. Completely. Once the playoffs start I don't care nearly as much. A Saturday afternoon in June against the Rangers...four hours is too m uch.
 

ookami7m

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Saw my first MLB game in person (SD at ATL) with the clock and it was a noticeable difference in pace. My wife who is only a baseball fan through me commented on it. The lack of walking around the mound after every pitch adds up a ton.
 

Knumba 9

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I didn't think I would see the day but I have to admit it I like it because it actually works to limit length but player appear more alert!!
 

LogansDad

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Agreed. Though honestly, the drawn out drama of the 2004 ALCS when Sox-Yanks were going 4+ hours was......unfathomably great theater.
Not saying I disagree, but back then that was more the exception than the rule. It's fine over a week or so, but consistent 3.5+ hour games makes a 162 game season a major slog.
 

LogansDad

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It was never, ever about commercials, pitching changes, intentional walks, etc. It was always about time between pitches. So glad they finally made this change because not only are games played in less time, they are more fast-paced and enjoyable to watch.
Yep. I know a lot of people thought it was about money, but the issue was always batters taking half the length of a commercial before they step in the box and the pitcher taking the other half of that length to pitch the ball.

I think a lot of people (not necessarily here, but... elsewhere) don't realize just how much the length of games was affected not by the pitchers, but by the batters, so when they clamor for "who cares if the batter is ready at 8 seconds" they are completely missing the point. The 8 second rule puts the onus on both players, and the batters in the 2nd week have done a much better job (I think) of understanding their on responsibilities in regards to the clock. Except Machado. Fuck that guy, amirite?
 

The Gray Eagle

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As for dramatic at-bats in postseason series, Tom Tango looked at the Eckersely-Kirk Gibson World Series at-bat, and found it would have been compliant with the pitch clock rules.
http://tangotiger.com/index.php/site/article/rewatching-gibson-eck-with-the-pitch-timer

And for 7 glorious minutes, we have what is for many people the greatest baseball event ever. And those 14 plays in 7 minutes was in full compliance of the non-existent pitch timer.
Joe Posnanski on this (not sure if this is paywalled but here is the relevant part):
Our pal Tom Tango did all of us pitch-timer advocates a great service: He went back to the famous Dennis Eckersley-Kirk Gibson at-bat from Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. And he put the pitch timer on it.

You’ll want to check out the whole thing, pitch-by-pitch, but let me give you my takeaway here, because (1) I, like Tango, have heard from several instinctively anti-pitch-timer people who worry (not without justice) that the timer will choke the game and cut into the drama and turn baseball into a sped-up version of old black-and-white Babe Ruth films, with the Babe running jauntily at Benny Hill speeds and (2) I have spent an awful lot of time on this at-bat in the last few months while writing my upcoming book, WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL (spoiler alert: The Gibson homer is in there).

The Gibson-Eckersley at-bat might be the most dramatic duel in baseball history. I actually get into that question in the book (I can’t wait for you to see it!) but the point is: It plays out cinematically. Gibson limps out of the dugout. He takes forever to get to the plate. It’s an eight-pitch at-bat with some throws over to first. It lasts seven glorious minutes. And, yes, I’ve heard people say: “You don’t want to rush baseball! You want to let it breathe. You want to have moments like Gibson-Eckersley."

And here’s what Tango found: Gibson and Eckersley were in compliance with the pitch timer, even though it didn’t exist. Yes, there are quirks — Eckersley threw over to first more times than now allowed, for example — but the point is that this was the natural rhythm of the game. The batter was alert on time. The pitcher pitched on time. And this was in the most pressure-packed moment imaginable, with a Hall of Fame pitcher and a badly injured MVP at the plate.

Players absolutely CAN and SHOULD play at this pace.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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That’s pretty cool. That at bat is so classic that I watch it several times a year, and have a smile on my face when it ends, even though I have no real affinity towards the Dodgers or Gibson.
 

Max Power

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That’s pretty cool. That at bat is so classic that I watch it several times a year, and have a smile on my face when it ends, even though I have no real affinity towards the Dodgers or Gibson.
You don't have to apologize for appreciating a textbook fist pump.

As someone who was in the stands for every minute of the 2004 ALCS games at Fenway, I wouldn't have minded a pitch clock to keep them under 5 hours.
 

Green Monster

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I am not sure if this is the correct thread for this because I am not immediately blaming the rule changes although there has been plenty of discussion about batter engagement. I know batters have always gotten hit but rarely in the face (Tony C was decades ago). Now it seems to be happening almost weekly, at least 4 or 5 times now since spring training....

www.nbcsportsedge.com/baseball/mlb/player/21250/kyle-farmer
Kyle Farmer left Wednesday's game in the fourth inning after being hit in the face by a pitch.
Lucas Giolito got him with a fastball in the mouth/jaw area. Farmer was able to walk off the field with assistance. Willi Castro replaced him at shortstop.
Justin Turner
Josh Smith
Austin Nola
Kyle Farmer
 

Bertha

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With the pitch clock, it seems there is far less time to shake off a sign, and I have seen that rarely this season. I suppose if adamantly against it, a pitcher can use one of his 2 disengagements. This should put more of a premium on a catcher who is a great caller of pitches. I find it interesting that so far, Cora has mostly gone with the stronger side of a traditional platoon at catcher. are any or all pitches being called from the dugout?
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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I am not sure if this is the correct thread for this because I am not immediately blaming the rule changes although there has been plenty of discussion about batter engagement. I know batters have always gotten hit but rarely in the face (Tony C was decades ago). Now it seems to be happening almost weekly, at least 4 or 5 times now since spring training....

www.nbcsportsedge.com/baseball/mlb/player/21250/kyle-farmer


Justin Turner
Josh Smith
Austin Nola
Kyle Farmer
I can't find a HBPIF stat on baseball reference but I went back to 2015 looking at HBP per MLB game:

Year HBP/game
15 0.330
16 0.340
17 0.363
18 0.395
19 0.408
20 0.457
21 0.435
22 0.421
23 0.382

Obviously 2023 is still SSS but compared to pre-2020 overall HBP rates are going up. I don't know if there's an easy explanation but with pitchers throwing more max effort pitches, and seemingly everyone throwing mid/high 90s, it probably makes sense that more pitches get away from guys, more of a chance those pitches fly up in the zone and less chance to react. Oh, and don't forget checking pitchers for sticky stuff.
 

Max Power

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I can't find a HBPIF stat on baseball reference but I went back to 2015 looking at HBP per MLB game:

Year HBP/game
15 0.330
16 0.340
17 0.363
18 0.395
19 0.408
20 0.457
21 0.435
22 0.421
23 0.382

Obviously 2023 is still SSS but compared to pre-2020 overall HBP rates are going up. I don't know if there's an easy explanation but with pitchers throwing more max effort pitches, and seemingly everyone throwing mid/high 90s, it probably makes sense that more pitches get away from guys, more of a chance those pitches fly up in the zone and less chance to react. Oh, and don't forget checking pitchers for sticky stuff.
This is why any pitcher complaining about a sticky stuff crackdown who says they need it for control should set off your bullshit detectors. Hit by pitches went up significantly during the Spider Tack era. When you try to throw 95 MPH sliders at a million RPMs, you're going to lose control and hit someone no matter how much adhesive is on your fingers.
 

curly2

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Kenley Jansen just looked dominant, striking out Trout and Ohtani, giving up a bloop hit to Rendon and striking out Renfroe. I wonder if he thinks to himself, “Why exactly WAS I taking so long between pitches?”
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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With his next save, Jansen will tie Kimbrel for 7th all time. He could conceivably get to 4th by next year (with 44 more saves), which would leave him behind only HOFers Rivera, Hoffman, and Smith. Pretty wild.