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This year, when the MLB umpires yell “play ball!” America’s favorite pastime begins with a host of new rules. Last season, the average MLB baseball game was three hours and four minutes. The league is looking to speed up the games and make them more action-packed for the fans.

In the most notable shift, baseball will be joining the ranks of sports with a timer. The NFL has a play clock; the NBA has a shot clock; and now MLB has a pitch clock. The pitcher has 15 seconds to begin their pitching motion if there are no base runners and 20 seconds to start with a runner on base. If he has not begun his pitch by the time the clock expires, the pitcher is charged with a ball. In addition, the batter has eight seconds to be in the batter’s box, and if the time expires before he is in the box, he is charged with a strike.

For the pitchers, this means throwing more quickly.

“We’ve been preparing during spring training and the off season, taking little parts out of our delivery to make sure that it’s not a factor,” said Yankees reliever Ron Marinaccio.

Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake weighed in saying, “Starters, in particular, need a little more of an aerobic base because more conditioning is involved in the longer innings. If they have to throw a lot of pitches, they need to catch their breath.”

Although the pitchers may be getting accustomed to the faster timing, it is definitely a factor in games.

In his second start of the year, Gerrit Cole, the Yankees' ace pitcher, walked Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos with a full count due to a pitch-clock violation, which resulted in Cole’s first earned run of the season.

Two-way star Shoehei Ohtani made history as the first player to get violations both on the mound and in the batter’s box on the same night.

Regardless, Blake remarked, “I think guys are getting used to playing a little faster game.”

Seemingly, the new rules are accomplishing their objectives. After the first week of play, MLB games are nearly 30 minutes shorter on average. So, what are coaches and players doing with the extra time?

“We can get home and watch some Netflix instead of having to go right to bed,” said Blake.