Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox reacts during his at bat in the third inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 22, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

What ARE people saying about the Red Sox pitch clock? The new MLB rules dominated the leagues home opener Thursday, especially at Fenway! 

Pitch Timer

According to, new rules are in place for the 2023 season, that may affect the game:

In an effort to create a quicker pace of play, there will be a 30-second timer between batters. Between pitches, there will be a 15-second timer with the bases empty and a 20-second timer with runners on base. At last check, the pitch timer had reduced the average time of game in MLB by about 26 minutes. This rule, which includes limits on throws to first base, has also increased stolen-base attempts. With this rule in place in the Minors this season, steal attempts per game have increased from 2.23 in 2019, at a 68% success rate, to 2.83 in 2022, at a 77% success rate.


In a WILD moment, Red Sox star Rafael Devers got nailed with the FIRST violation of the season, when at EIGHT seconds on the pitch clock, the ump caught him “not alert” at the plate, and wsa CALLED OUT, STRIKE THREE. See the reaction below! Even the broadcast commentators in the TV booth were stunned.

Here it is spelled out, by the MLB:

  • The pitcher must begin his motion to deliver the pitch before the expiration of the pitch timer.
  • Pitchers who violate the timer are charged with an automatic ball.
  • Batters who violate the timer are charged with an automatic strike.
  • Batters must be in the box and alert to the pitcher by the 8-second mark or else be charged with an automatic strike.

Yes, this happened to our boy Rafael for the world to see. I can’t say the new rules caused our loss to the Orioles 10-9, at Fenway. We’ll just have to see this play out over time. Our next game is Saturday against the Orioles at 4:10 at Fenway. If there is a benefit to come from the new rule, the game is about 25 minutes shorter.

Bigger Bases

Another change in the league are bigger bases:

The bases, which traditionally have been 15 inches square, will instead be 18 inches square. Home plate is unchanged.

Though this can have a modest impact on stolen-base success rate, the primary goal of this change is to give players more room to operate and to avoid collisions. This is especially important at first base, where fielders have an extra 3-inch advantage to stay out of harm’s way from the baserunner while receiving throws.

So, what ARE people saying about the Red Sox pitch clock?

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