Pitch clock violation costs Braves walk-off over Red Sox in Spring Training

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Cal Conley of the Atlanta Braves thought he had just won the game with a two-out, bases-loaded walk on Saturday. He took a few steps toward first base, bat still in hand, when umpire John Libka jumped from behind the plate and signaled strike three.

end of the game Conley couldn’t believe it. Neither do his colleagues. The fans booed.

Welcome to 2023, where new baseball rules designed to improve the pace of the game are coming quickly to everyone, especially the players.

The most dramatic moment of the new field clock era came on the first full day of spring games, and in the most dramatic setting possible. Conley, facing Boston Red Sox reliever Robert Kwiatkowski, was not put in the box as the clock ticked down to less than eight seconds.

The penalty is an automatic hit, which led to the game in North Port, Fla., tied 6-6. Kwiatkowski got the point after throwing just two true strikes.

It was a more dramatic moment than Friday, when San Diego Padres shortstop Manny Machado became the first player to draw a pitch clock violation when he was called out for an automatic strike in the bottom of the first inning against Seattle because he wasn’t ready. the box on time.

[Mancy Machado commits first infraction as pitch clock makes MLB debut]

The field clock is one of the new rules designed to speed up the pace of play. Players will have 30 seconds to resume play between batters. Between pitches, pitchers have 15 seconds with no one on and 20 seconds if a base runner is on. The pitcher must begin his delivery before the clock expires. After a pitch, the clock restarts when the pitcher has the ball back, the catcher and batter are in the circle around home plate, and the game is otherwise ready to resume.

Report from The Associated Press.

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