Rob Manfred isn’t going to make postseason games shorter

Rob Manfred
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There are no immediate plans to tweak the length of MLB games, league commissioner Rob Manfred said Saturday. Even as television ratings for World Series Games 1-3 dropped to a four-year low, Manfred refused to assign blame to Game 3’s 18-inning slog or suggest that more stringent measures be put in place to prevent games from stretching past a certain length.

Via Gabe Lacques of USA Today:

I don’t think of it as a seven-hour ask,” Manfred said. “Nobody knows, going into the game, that we’re going to play 18 innings. The fact of the matter is, we recognize that it’s helpful to provide as crisp a game as possible, with as little downtime as possible, but I don’t think you can wring your hands over playing a seven-hour game in the World Series that turned out to be a great game. It’s one game!

Manfred also addressed the minor-league rule that allows each team to begin extra innings with a runner on second base. While such a drastic measure isn’t under active consideration in the majors just yet, that isn’t to say it’ll remain off the table indefinitely.

For now, however, Game 3 and its unprecedented seven-hour, 20-minute pace remains an anomaly — and one that’s unlikely to spark significant change in either the regular season or postseason. By comparison, Games 1 and 2 of the Fall Classic hovered between three and four hours long, while the average time of regular season games hasn’t strayed far from the three-hour mark in the last seven years. There was just a four-minute decrease between the three-hour, eight-minute average of 2017 games and the three-hour, four-minute average of 2018 games.

Manfred spoke specifically to playoff games on Saturday, stressing that any fundamental rule changes would conflict with the “long tradition of playing your games out in the World Series.” While he’s often been at the forefront of pace-of-play initiatives over the last year, this is a tradition he’s bound to respect, at least for the time being.

Ohtani homers twice, including career longest at 459 feet, Angels beat White Sox 12-5

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CHICAGO (AP) Shohei Ohtani homered in consecutive innings, including a 459-foot drive that was the longest of his Major League Baseball career, and drove in four runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Chicago White Sox 12-5 Wednesday.

Mike Trout put the Angels ahead 2-0 with a 476-foot home run in the first that was four rows shy of clearing the left field bleachers. Taylor Ward also went deep as the Angels hit four two-run homers plus a solo shot.

“Those are the guys you lean on,” manager Phil Nevin said. “They can certainly put the team on their backs and carry us and that’s what they did today.”

Ohtani drove a first-pitch fastball from Lance Lynn (4-6) just to left of straightaway center in the third, where the ball was dropped by a fan who tried to glove it. That 425-foot drive put the Angels ahead 4-1.

Lynn didn’t even bother to turn and look when Ohtani hit a full count fastball more than a dozen rows over the bullpen in right-center in the fourth. The two-way Japanese star is batting .269 with 15 homers and 38 RBIs to go along with a 5-1 record and 2.91 ERA.

“I’m feeling good right now,” Ohtani said through a translator. “I’m putting good swings on pitches I should be hitting hard.”

Ohtani increased his career total to 13 multihomer games with his first this season.

Trout pulled a hanging curve for his 13th home run. Ward hit a two-run homer against Jesse Scholtens in the seventh and Chad Wallach, pinch hitting for Ohtani, had a solo homer in the ninth off Garrett Crochet.

“Usually when that happens, we’re in a good spot to win,” Trout said.

Trout and Ohtani have homered in the same game for the fifth time this season. The Angels hit a pair of 450-foot or more home runs in the same game for the first time since Statcast started tracking in 2015.

Lynn allowed eight runs, eight hits and two walks while hitting two batters in four innings, raising his ERA to 6.55. He has given up 15 home runs, one short of the major league high of Kansas City’s Jordan Lyles. Lynn had won his previous three starts.

“It seemed like he didn’t get away with any today,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “Just one of those days, man.”

Jaime Barria (2-2) gave up one run and four hits in five innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

Los Angeles won two of three from the White Sox after being swept by Miami last weekend.

Jake Burger homered for Chicago, which has lost four of five. Burger hit his 11th homer in the ninth and Hanser Alberto had a two run double off Tucker Davidson.

Chicago’s Romy Gonzalez, who’d homered in three straight games, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.


Twenty-three people became naturalized U.S. citizens during a pregame swearing-in behind home plate.


Angels: Trout fouled a pitch off his right leg in the fourth but remained in the game.

White Sox: INF Elvis Andrus (strained left oblique) and RHP Mike Clevinger (right wrist inflammation) are close to returning but Grifol wouldn’t elaborate on either player’s status.


Angels: Reid Detmers (0-4, 4.93) starts Thursday’s series opener at Houston against fellow LHP Framber Valdez (5-4, 2.38).

White Sox: Have not announced a starter for Friday’s series opener against visiting Detroit, which starts RHP Reese Olson in his major league debut. Olson is 2-3 with a 6.38 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Toledo.

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