Padres slugger Machado records first-pitch clock violation

Tick, Manny Machado. Notice that pitch clock.

Baseball’s new timing device made its big-league debut on Friday amid a limited schedule for the opening day of spring training. It wasn’t the pitcher who was called up first, but Machado, the San Diego Padres All-Star slugger. violation.

Machado found the hard way that the pitch clock works in both directions. He was not fully in the batter’s box and was facing Seattle Mariners lefty Robbie Ray as the 15-second clock dipped to 8 seconds in the bottom of the first inning. Umpire Ryan Blakney called time and signaled a strike one against Machado, who finished second in his NL MVP race last season.

Machado barely moved. He hit a single on his 2-for-1 pitch before collecting another in his second pitch.

Machado, who batted between fellow superstars Xander Bogaerts and Juan Soto, laughed about it afterwards.

“At least on the record books. That’s good. Not bad,” Machado said.

Major League Baseball is New rules designed to improve the pace of play, including the pitch clock, it got them. The Mariners won him 3-2 in 2 hours and 29 minutes.

Padres manager Bob Melvin then went to MLB officials Morgan Sword and Mike Hill and said, “If this is the pace of these games, I’m fine with it.”

The game “felt really fast at first. Everyone was looking at the clock. Manny made history with the first offense in major league history and put another feather on his cap,” Melvin quipped. . a bit. So far, so good. “

The pitch clock gives players 30 seconds between batters to restart play. Between pitches, he has 15 seconds with no pitchers and 20 seconds with baserunners. The pitcher must start pitching before the clock runs out. After pitching, the clock starts again when the pitcher returns the ball and the catcher and batter are in a circle around home plate, otherwise play is ready to resume.

The batter must have been in the box and alerted the pitcher for at least 8 seconds. A hitter can stop the countdown by calling his time once per at-bat.

The penalty is an automatic ball if the pitcher does not pitch in time. If the batter is not ready in time, it is an automatic strike.

“The time came so quickly,” Machado said. He warned—”Hey, he’s got two seconds left”—but by the time he got there, it was already late. “

“We have 30 seconds so we have to be ready by 8. Really forget the walk-up song,” he added with a laugh.

Hitters aren’t allowed to leave the box between pitches, but “I don’t mind,” Machado added.

“Getting into the box is where the players get their speed,” Machado said. It’s the same when he’s hitting.

“It’s going to be an interesting year. It’s going to be a fun year. Who knows where this will lead. There’s going to be a lot of strategy in this.”

Machado will represent the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic without a pitch clock.

“I’m going to take my time,” he said.

Padres starter Nick Martinez added that the clock is going to make things a little bit tricky.

Martinez said the clock affects how the pitch is called.

“Today, the way I took the pressure off was to have a pitchcom with me,” he said. “Most of the time[Luis Campusano]was calling the game, but if there was a pitch that stood out for me, I would just press. I didn’t wait for him to call me and say, ‘I want this.’ I thought. I did it several times. Sometimes you want the game to slow down, so that would be fun. “

“I didn’t think I was even going to think about it today, and I was definitely conscious of it,” said Martinez, who moved into the rotation after being in a hybrid role last year. It will be a period

Melvin said pitchers and hitters, especially those who go to the WBC and then return to MLB’s new rules, will have to adjust as spring training progresses.

“One thing I can say is that the players are going to get a little tired working at this pace,” Melvin said.

More Pitch Clock Meditations

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he is looking forward to the pitch clock kicking off the spring schedule for the Bronx Bombers against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Fla., on Saturday. had a triple-A umpire manipulating the plate during the game.

“I think I’d like to thank the referee for coming here the last few days and helping us in that regard,” he said. “I think it’s been really worth it. It sparked conversation, but it would obviously help us to start applying it in games.

larger base

Machado said the new base went from 15 inches to 18 square inches and said, “It wasn’t too bad. I like the big base. It needs to be a little more consistent with last year’s base. Stiffness, grip, I definitely prefer the new, larger size.


AP freelance writers Jack Thompson and Mark Didler contributed to this report.


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