Don’t count on watching Stephen Strasburg’s return tonight

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I got all excited for the Strassurrection earlier, but my words appear as though they will be for naught.  That pic is the weather radar for Washington, D.C. at around 5PM this evening. Looking more widely, it only gets wetter after that. And it’s going to continue like that for a couple of days, it seems. Right now the chance of rain is listed at 90%, but methinks that’s just some weathermen being conservative.

Which is also bad news for games in Philly, New York and everywhere else up the eastern seaboard, thanks to the remains of Tropical Storm Lee.

Thank goodness most of the pennant races are history. The rescheduling that will have to go down will be bad enough as it is. At least we can chuck a couple of games here or there if we need be and not have it matter.

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

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Rich Schultz/Getty Images
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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%.