Writer Wants Pitch Clock Removed In Postseason

Nicholas Cruz, Staff Writer

I believe that the new pitch clock rule has not been an issue in MLB through three weeks into the season. Games this year on average have been 25 minutes shorter than last year, which is a positive thing. However, I believe that the pitch clock should be removed for the postseason.

Postseason games are more intense and important than regular season games, therefore the pitch clock should not be implemented.

MLB already took away the runner on second base in extra innings rule for the postseason because it is just wrong to have a runner starting on second base in such an intense and important game. Players are alert to the new rule and have adapted really well to it, but the postseason is a completely different environment. The postseason is more intense and with every pitch having more importance and greater impact as the game goes forward.

I would even go to say that both the batter and the pitcher can use more time to collect their thoughts and emotions during tense moments in the postseason games. The pitch clock will affect those moments, which will create sloppy baseball and it will look bad for the game. Sloppy as in the pitcher will start to miss the strike zone because of the pitch clock and the difficulty of focusing with thousands of fans screaming during an important moment in the game.

Imagine a scenario in which it is Game Seven of the World Series: It is the bottom of the ninth inning, the bases are loaded. It is a one-run game, there are two outs. The at-bat is in a full count, and the batter gets called with an automatic strike for not getting into the box sooner. And, the game is over. If a game were to end like this, it would be a disgrace to the game of baseball, and this would most likely cause an uproar of anger from baseball fans across the globe.

Back in September, MLB’s Competition Committee discussed the rule before it was implemented. Players that were on the committee voted unanimously against the pitch clock.

“Major League Baseball was unwilling to meaningfully address the areas of concern that players raised, and as a result, players on the Competition Committee voted unanimously against the implementation of the rules covering defensive shifts and the use of a pitch timer,” the MLBPA said in a statement in September, when MLB announced the changes for 2023.

During spring training, New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer had an issue with the pitch clock. In a game against the Washington Nationals, Shcherzer, in an attempt to get the opposing hitters off their game, decided to throw a pitch at the same time that umpire Jeremy Riggs was resetting the clock. Scherzer was called for a balk. “He calls time, I come set, I get the green light,” Scherzer said. “I thought that was a clean pitch. He said no. We have to figure out where the limit is,” said Scherzer when talking about the rule during a postgame interview on SNY.

The MLB just needs to look at how much of a success the recent World Baseball Classic was. The World Baseball Classic is an international baseball tournament contested by men’s national baseball teams. The tournament was very entertaining and felt exactly like an MLB postseason atmosphere. Guess what? There was no pitch clock, and the pace of play was great.

Baseball is played in its best and most purest form when there is no pitch clock. It is already enough that they implemented the clock for the regular season and even though it has been a success so far, the postseason is a completely different animal and rule should be put the rest during that time.

MLB’s Competition Committee should be watching this year’s postseason games decisively to see how the games play out with the new rules.