MLB Won't Relax New Rules for Postseason

Pitch clock could make a bigger difference in playoffs
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2023 4:30 PM CDT
MLB Won't Relax New Rules for Postseason
Baltimore Orioles' Adley Rutschman bats as the pitch clock winds down during a game against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday in Baltimore.   (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Major League Baseball's new pitch clock has helped reduce the average game time by almost 25 minutes over last season. But for the postseason, some players supported allowing more time between pitches to reflect the greater intensity—and, perhaps, drama—of those games, Sports Illustrated reports. That won't happen, MLB's Executive Council decided Friday. In fact, all the rule changes new to this season will stay in place, such as the prohibition on defensive shifts and the limit on pickoff throws pitchers can make.

Pitchers have 15 seconds to throw when there are no runners are on base and 20 seconds when there are. Players appear to have adapted, and baseball's bosses evidently don't want to jeopardize the progress made toward shorter games, per CBS Sports. Playoff games last season averaged 3 hours, 32 minutes, per ESPN, which was a few minutes shorter than the several previous years. The average length of a regular season game this year is running 2 hours, 39 minutes. With such a huge gap, the new rules could have a greater impact on postseason games than they have already. (More MLB stories.)

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