Cubs’ Marcus Stroman commits MLB’s first pitch-clock violation

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman committed Major League Baseball’s first pitch-clock violation in the third inning of Thursday’s season opener against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Stroman took a long look at rookie Bryce Turang, who was batting from second base at Wrigley Field with no outs and Christian Yelich. As Stroman turned his attention back to Yelich, plate umpire Ron Kulpa called a foul. Kulpa pointed to his wrist announcing the call and the automatic ball made it 2–2 against Yelich. Strowman didn’t object.

Cubs-Brewers Thursday was the fourth of 15 games on Opening Day. Giants vs. starting tilt. Yankees and Braves Vs. The Nationals entered late in the inning without any offense.

The famous clock is meant to reduce the time between pitches. Pitchers have 15 seconds to throw a pitch after receiving the baseball on the mound with the bases empty, or 20 seconds to do so with runners on the bases. Players have 30 seconds to resume play between batters. Hitters must be in the batter’s box and ready to hit with eight seconds left on the pitch clock.

A ball is added to the count if the pitcher violates the clock, while a strike is added if the hitter does so.

The average length of MLB games is intended to reduce game time after being three hours 11 minutes in 2021 and three hours and six minutes last season. According to ESPN, the average length of 2023 spring training games, with the pitch clock in effect, was 26 minutes less than the length of last year’s spring training games — two hours and 35 minutes.

San Diego Padres star Manny Machado violated the pitch-clock for the first time during spring training. A typical spring training game had one or two clock violations, with the number dwindling as the preseason progressed.

Players were heavily encouraged by the rollout of the new rules during the preseason. Other changes this year include larger bases to improve player protection, as well as limits on infield shifts and pitcher retreats to encourage more action.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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