Friday, April 21, 2023

Pitch Clock, Marlins Vs Diamondbacks

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

On My Baseball Podcast, 108 Stitches, Baseball Talk, I refused to comment on Baseball’s new rule changes until I had the chance to see a game in person.

That day came on Sunday, April 6 at Loan Depot Park when the Marlins hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The game was going to be a treat because reigning Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara was on the hill for Miami.

There was no Media Availability for new Manager Skip Schumaker since it was an early game, so that will wait for another game.

The Marlins had taken the first two games of the series and were looking for a three game sweep. 

That wouldn’t occur as Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallan pitched 6.2 innings, yielded two hits and struck out seven as he out dueled Alcantara for a 5-0 snakes triumph. 

Alcantara give up five runs, four that were earned and Miami’s offense could only muster up four hits.

Let’s talk about the rule changes.

I’ll begin with the band on shifts.

This was hardly noticeable to me as I grew up watching baseball with two infielders on each side so there was no adjustment. I enjoyed seeing this and I’m glad that they banned the shift with the infielders being stacked to one side. 

Good Move, MLB.

The larger bases. I know in recent years, I’ve had five eye operations.

But not because of this.

To me, especially sitting in the Press Box, I’ve played and covered baseball and no matter what you do to change the game, with the blind eye, they’re always going to be in the same place. If indeed this change was made to speed up the game and prevent injuries, I’m fine with this change. 

Good Move, MLB.

The pitch clock was the only change I had to adapt to and when I attend my next game, I’ll sit in a different spot so that I can actually see the clock.

Alcantara did have one pitch clock violation. 

But you can tell that all of the dead time in the batters box was removed, and the pitchers had to get in a rhythm to get the ball out faster.

Candidly speaking, I had to move faster to fill up my Diet Pepsi and get an occasional snack between innings.

Thankfully, I have an app from MLB which allows me to catch up on plays if I get behind.

As much as I’m a traditionalist, I’ll never be opposed to seeing changes if they improve the game.

Former Marlins Manager Don Mattingly once told me that people, players, etc… can complain all they want about rule changes, but in the end, you can’t do anything about them so just get used to them.

In the end, the game is scheduled for nine innings. 

We’ve already acclimated to the ghost runner on second base to eliminate extremely long games. 

That rule doesn’t apply in the post-season.

What was refreshing to see in this contest was the MLB debut of Marlins George Soriano, who pitched three clean innings for the fish.

A traditionalist can appreciate a game like this as the starter goes six and a reliever goes three, thus two hurlers finish the contest.

Once upon a time, there used to be two and three inning saves. We’ll see if that occurs again. 

Who knows, maybe the quicker pace of the game will lead to complete games. Perhaps, the complete games might be a stretch, but I’ll be monitoring that as the season progresses.

The game took 2:11 minutes so I’ll give the Pitch Clock a thumbs up!

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southflloridatribune@gmail.com and you can Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel at no cost.


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