Skip Schumaker may miss NLCS with oblique injury

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Skip Schumaker didn’t last long in last night’s win over the Phillies, but he made quite the impact.

Getting the surprising nod over Jon Jay in center field for the deciding Game 5, Schumaker drove in the only run of the game with an RBI double off Roy Halladay in the first inning. However, he was pulled in the third inning with right oblique tightness.

Schumaker will likely be reevaluated today, but during the post-game celebration he told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it “doesn’t look good.” If he is forced to miss the NLCS, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suspects that Tyler Greene will replace him on the roster.

Schumaker, who batted .283/.333/.351 with a .685 OPS during the regular season, went 6-for-10 during the NLDS.

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%.