Baseball’s new reality: Braves slugger Cal Conley misses out on winning the Spring Training game against the Red Sox because he wasn’t put in the batter’s box in time as the slug ends in a tie
Baseball’s newest rule, designed to shorten the time between pitches, came back to annoy the Atlanta Braves on Saturday when they missed a chance to win the Spring Training game against the Boston Red Sox.
In the bottom of the ninth and the game tied at six runs a piece with two outs and the bases loaded, Braves shortstop Cal Conley took a 3-2 count but couldn’t get into the batter’s box in eight seconds.
The umpire scored a third strike, ending the inning – and the game – in a tie, as Conley trotted down the line thinking he had scored a game-winning walk. Instead, he was shocked by his bad luck.
Under new Major League Baseball rules, batters must be placed in the batter’s box with at least eight seconds left on the pitch clock.
If they don’t, they are accused of an automatic attack. Pitchers who do not make a pitch in a specified amount of time are hit with an automatic ball.
Braves shortstop Cal Conley was called out for failing to hit the batter’s box in time
He was called under the league’s new rule that hitters must be set with at least eight seconds left on the field clock.
Conley’s elimination ended the game in a 6-6 tie, which showed the good and bad of the new rules.
It’s all part of a new set of rules the MLB is introducing to try to speed up the pace of play in games — and so far there are signs that it’s working.
Spring Training’s opener – a game between the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres – took just two hours and 29 minutes to complete.
Most Spring Training games ended in this period. At the time of publication, the fastest game was two hours and 15 minutes (Phillies v. Tigers), while the longest was two hours and 54 minutes (Twins v. Orioles).
Compare that to the average playing time for the 2022 season – which lasted around three hours and three minutes, according to Sportsnaut.
This game between the Red Sox and Braves came to an end in two hours and 39 minutes.
It also resulted in some unintended consequences for hitters: Padres star Manny Machado became the first MLB player in Spring Training to be hit with an automatic hit for failing to get into the batter’s box in time.