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MLB’s pitch clock has generally been a success in its first season.
Games are much faster and more importantly, feel faster. Runs are up, balls in play are up, and there’s much less wasted time.
Some pitchers like New York Mets superstar Max Scherzer have been frustrated with the league’s strict enforcement.
Generally, though, reactions have been positive.
But a new report says some players have noticed something extremely odd about the clock.
According to them, the pitch clock seems to bizarrely change between stadiums.
And according to the data, they may actually have a point.
The Athletic reported that the Phillies players believe Citizens Bank Park has the fastest clock in the league. And it’s a widespread belief.
“I think the pitch clock was a little too fast,” starter Aaron Nola said. “It seems to be that way when we get back home.”
“It just seems a lot faster, you know?” Another starter, Taijuan Walker, claimed. “You just got the ball and you look up and there’s only 10 seconds left.”
“Our clock?” Josh Harrison chimed in. “The fastest.”
It sounds like an impossible conspiracy theory, and yet data shows they’re actually right.
Is The Pitch Clock Biased?
According to research from STATS Perform, the Phillies’ concerns are mostly justified.
STATS said that there have been more violations per game in Philadelphia than at any other park.
The Athletic provided a graphic using data from STATS Perform showing just how substantial the gap is between Philadelphia and other parks.
Some pitchers said they felt like the clock started more quickly in Philadelphia than in other stadiums. And the team reportedly brought their concerns up with the league, which claimed to be addressing inconsistencies in timing.
But it’s unclear at this point if that’s already started.
Phillies players also expressed frustration with what they described as a gray area with enforcement and timing. One example being an umpire signaling to start the clock, only to notice it was already running.
The pitch clock has made generally positive changes throughout the league. But for Philadelphia fans, it may have impacted their players more negatively than any other team.
As if they needed more excuses.