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Find out how the new rules of baseball changed the game

Thursday was Major League Baseball’s opening day and the first look at rules designed to, among other things, speed up a falling game.

And speeding it up did.

With the debut of the pitch clock, the average length of Thursday’s first 11 games was around 2 hours 49 minutes, compared to 3 hours 6 minutes last year. There was a similar shift throughout spring training, when the clock slashed the average game by almost half an hour.

Thursday’s average playtime was comparable to that of the 1990s and early 2000s. That’s what game executives had hoped for with the new rules: to resurrect the days of livelier, more action-packed games. stock.

Pitchers now have 15 seconds for a pitch, 20 seconds if there’s a runner on base, and batters must be in the box ready to hit with at least eight seconds left. MLB added other changes, including larger bases and a ban on defensive changes, to amp up the game’s offense.

We’re only a day away, and more data this season will likely show other ways the new rules have changed the game. Batting averages may increase, and the league is hoping for more stolen bases. Managers and players have been forced to adapt to perhaps the biggest combined changes to a season in the sport’s modern history, and it’s impossible to pinpoint from a matchday exactly how that happened. take place.

But here’s another measure of opening day: the number of visits per hour has jumped, after decades of decline.

There were around 6.1 visits per hour in the first 11 games on opening day, compared to around 5.3 Last year.

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