Cody Bellinger received a pitch-clock violation because he got a standing ovation in his return to Dodger Stadium, and New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer isn’t too happy about it. A former teammate of Bellinger with the Dodgers, Scherzer believes that MLB went too far by sticking to the letter of the law in Bellinger’s at-bat Friday night.
Under MLB’s rules for the pitch clock, hitters are supposed to be given a strike if they aren’t in the batter’s box and ready to hit with eight seconds left on the clock. Bellinger drew the violation because he briefly stepped out of the box to acknowledge the cheering Dodgers fans. According to Max Scherzer, the umpires have to be more lenient in such situations.
“The umpires are in a tough spot,” Scherzer said on “Foul Territory.” “They’re actually told there’s no wiggle room whatsoever. They gotta do this. But the game is screaming, ‘Don’t do it.’ Give Cody (Bellinger) his moment.”
— Foul Territory (@FoulTerritoryTV) April 17, 2023
Scherzer, who has been among the most outspoken players about the pitch clock, puts the onus on MLB, not the umps.
“That’s just another pet peeve of mine with the clock,” Scherzer continued. “We’re using it in the wrong way. We’ve sped up the game. We’ve changed behavior. Now, we don’t need it as much. And this is another case where the clock looks bad. Just some common sense, some human logic says don’t do it, and yet we have to do it. The umpires are forced to do it.”
Through the first week of the 2023 season, the pitch clock helped reduce the average time of baseball games by 31 minutes.
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