01 June, 2023
On Thursday night, Max Scherzer of the New York Mets spoke candidly about Major League Baseball’s new pitch clock.
Before the fifth inning of their 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, Scherzer and home plate umpire Tripp Gibson got into a fight. The Mets’ catcher Francisco Alvarez was the last out of the previous inning, but because he took his time leaving the field, Scherzer was not able to throw all eight of his warm-up pitches.
In accordance with MLB regulations, pitchers are only permitted to warm up with eight pitches each half-inning. When that time was up and Gibson was ready to start the inning, Scherzer still hadn’t finished those eight pitches, and that’s when they started talking.
Look, I’m just going about my business,” Scherzer remarked. “It’s not my fault that this is happening, so why do we need to step through the game and have the umpires change routines? ” Why is a pitch clock necessary in that circumstance? What, one second slower if I throw one more pitch?
“Why aren’t the umpires allowed to use their discretion in that circumstance to permit a pitcher to throw his eight typical warmup pitches? Why must we be so anxious about this, shoving the clock in everyone’s face, and trying to squander every single second that is entering the game?
Although it appeared uncomfortable, Scherzer claimed that Gibson and he were on the same side. Gibson allegedly warned Scherzer that he couldn’t complete the warm-up pitches because the league would “get mad at him.”
He said that Gibson had really encouraged him to speak up after the game.
“It’s situations like that that really are frustrating not only for pitchers, players, but even umpires,” Scherzer said. “That’s what Tripp says. Tripp is handcuffed. Why is Tripp handcuffed to not allow something normal, a normal routine? Just a normal routine. Why can’t Tripp make that call? … They want to allow the game to be normal. The umpires are frustrated as we are that the game is not normal, that we’re living and dying by the clock. That was our conversation … We’re way too far thinking about the clock in every single situation instead of letting players have their normal routines.”
MLB introduced a clock between half innings for the first time in 2015, however the regulations weren’t fully followed. Up until this season, Scherzer’s request for umpire discretion was accepted. Now that the pitch timer has been added for this season, it appears that the league is strictly enforcing that rule.
He may sound annoyed, but the new pitch clock regulations are effective. As of May 31, according to CBS Sports, a game had an average duration of barely 2:38. The average game time over the previous four seasons was greater than three hours.
On Thursday at Citi Field, Scherzer pitched seven innings and gave up just one run on five hits. In the 4-2 victory, which was their third consecutive victory and sealed the series sweep over Philadelphia, he struck out nine hitters while walking just one. In nine starts this season, Scherzer has a 3.21 ERA and a 5-2 record in his second stint with the Mets.