Huston Street on pace to allow most homers ever by a closer

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Huston Street has been plenty effective overall this season, converting 28 of 31 save chances with a 3.75 ERA and 46/7 K/BB ratio in 48 innings for the Rockies despite calling Coors Field home, but he’s on an historic pace for serving up homers.

Street’s third blown save came last night when he allowed a two-run homer to Phillies pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr., which is the 10th long ball he’s given up through the Rockies’ first 109 games.

That puts Street on pace to allow a total of 15 homers on the season, which would be the most in baseball history for any pitcher with at least 25 saves. For now Dave Holland in 1984, Jeff Reardon in 1987, and Dave Veres in 1999 are tied for the record with 14 homers apiece, but they saved 29, 31, and 31 games respectively.

So not only is Street on pace to break their record for homers allowed by a closer, he’s also on pace to save 42 games. The most homers ever allowed by a pitcher with 40 or more saves?  Danny Graves in 2004 and Armando Benitez in 2001 with 12 each.

Good luck breaking the record, Huston!

Pitch clock cut minor league games by 25 minutes to 2:38

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NEW YORK — Use of pitch clocks cut the average time of minor league games by 25 minutes this year, a reduction Major League Baseball hopes is replicated when the devices are installed in the big leagues next season.

The average time of minor league games dropped to 2 hours, 38 minutes in the season that ended Wednesday, according to the commissioner’s office. That was down from 3:03 during the 2021 season.

Clocks at Triple-A were set at 14 seconds with no runners on base and 19 with runners. At lower levels, the clocks were at 18 seconds with runners.

Big league nine-inning games are averaging 3:04 this season.

MLB announced on Sept. 9 that clocks will be introduced in the major leagues next year at 15 seconds with no runners and 20 seconds with runners, a decision opposed by the players’ association.

Pitchers are penalized a ball for violating the clock. In the minors, violations decreased from an average of 1.73 per game in the second week to 0.41 in week 24.

There will be a limit of two pickoff attempts or stepoffs per plate appearance, a rule that also was part of the minor league experiment this season. A third pickoff throw that is not successful would result in a balk.

Stolen bases increased to an average of 2.81 per game from 2.23 in the minors this year and the success rate rose to 78% from 68%.

Many offensive measurements were relatively stable: runs per team per game increased to 5.13 from 5.11 and batting average to .249 from .247.

Plate appearances resulting in home runs dropped to 2.7% from 2.8%, strikeouts declined to 24.4% from 25.4% and walks rose to 10.5% from 10.2%. Hit batters remained at 1.6%.