“We just have to find out.” Dodgers, Angels prepare for pitch clock implications

Bases loaded, two outs, end of the ninth inning, home team a run down, full count on batsman stepping out of the box to take a deep breath and collect himself as the pitch clock ticks down from nine seconds to eight seconds to seven seconds…

Strike three! Game over!

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn’t hesitate this week when asked how he liked baseball’s new pitch clock, which requires pitchers to make their delivery within 15 seconds of receiving the ball with empty bases and 20 Seconds to start and seed with a runner and look at the pitcher for eight seconds on the clock.

“I love it,” Roberts said enthusiastically. “I think players are getting used to it, but just the rhythm of the game, the playing time… all of that is going to leave everyone wanting more the next day and I think that’s a good thing.”

But Roberts may not praise the pitch clock in late September, when an automatic strike ends a one-time Dodgers loss that is impacting the National League West race.

“It only gets more frustrating when it does [a pitch clock] Breach at a big moment,” Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw said. “They don’t want playoff games, big important games down the line that are decided by that. We don’t want a game decided by that. But I don’t think we’ll get any mercy, so we’ll just have to find out.”

If there’s one thing the judges have made clear during the month-long exhibitions leading up to Thursday’s opening day, it’s that the pitch clock rules will be strictly enforced.

Adjustments have been made since spring training began, giving players extra time to fix errant PitchCom units, batsmen getting back in the box after brushback pitches or big swings that knock over gear, and pitchers to get around return to the box hills after first covering or securing a base.

But once the clock is ticking and a pitcher has used his two “disengagements” per at-bat and a batter has used his one time-out per plate appearance, there’s no stopping it, no matter what the inning, the score, or how much pressure he’s putting on has. grabbed the situation.

“In my opinion, the batsmen slowed the pace of the game. In those bigger moments, they want to slow things down, control the pace, their heartbeat, and that’s why the game grinds to a halt. But you won’t have that luxury anymore.”

– Dave Roberts, Dodgers manager

“I just think you need to refocus a little faster,” said Dodgers utility man Chris Taylor. “In the past you’d kind of get out, take a few breaths to slow things down, and come back in. You can’t really do that anymore. So maybe take a breath, get back in the box and be ready.”

Though there are plenty of notoriously slow-working pitchers — Angel ace Shohei Ohtani and former Dodgers Reliables Kenley Jansen and Pedro Baez come to mind — Roberts believes the pitch clock will require more adjustments from hitters, not from them the pitchers.

“Most pitchers like to work fast,” Roberts said. “There are breakaways, guys who work very slowly, but in my opinion it’s batsmen who have slowed the pace of the game. In those bigger moments, they want to slow things down, control the pace, their heartbeat, and that’s why the game grinds to a halt. But you won’t have that luxury anymore.”

Clayton Kershaw takes on the Angels in a show at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. The game, which the Dodgers won 3-0, lasted 2 hours and 8 minutes.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The pitch clock is clearly working and saved about 25 minutes of game time this spring. The Dodgers’ 3-0 win over the Angels at Chavez Ravine on Sunday night lasted just 2 hours and 8 minutes, after which Kershaw said: “Hopefully they sell enough beer.”

A 5-4 Angels win over the Dodgers in Anaheim Monday night included 20 hits, including six homers, and 18 strikeouts while still lasting just 2 hours 36 minutes.

“I think it’s going pretty smoothly,” said Angels manager Phil Nevin. “We started with a lot of breaches in the spring, people didn’t get it, but I think it’s already becoming the norm. I think it’s good for our game to keep the pace.”

Game tempo rules are not limited to pitch clock. The replay rules have also changed. Managers must now immediately put their hands up to signal the umpires that they are considering a challenge, and they have just 15 seconds from that point to inform the crew chief that they want a play review .

Managers previously had 10 seconds to signal the umps that they were considering a challenge and 20 seconds from that point to decide whether to contest the game.

“The mechanics of that…we have to make a decision sooner,” Roberts said. “We don’t have that 10 second grace period to decide whether or not to challenge.”

The tighter window will put pressure on replay specialists to find the best camera angle to make a decision quicker than in years past.

Home plate umpires, communicating with field timing coordinators in the press box via an earpiece and microphone, add 15 seconds to each of four pitch clocks — one at each dugout, two behind the midfield wall — to time the replays .

This was a relief to Roberts, who initially thought another watch could be added.

“You know what?” said Roberts. “We have a lot of clocks around now.”

Source : www.latimes.com

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