Mets’ Scherzer loves ‘cat-andmouse’ game of MLB’S new rules
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – New York Mets righthander Max Scherzer described pitching under Major League Baseball’s new rules as a “cat-and-mouse” game.
Contrary to previous years, Scherzer feels the pitcher finally has control of the tempo because of the new pitch clock.
In his first start of the Grapefruit League schedule, Scherzer allowed a run in the second inning but struck out five while working the first two innings of the Mets’ 6-3 win over Washington.
“Really, the power the pitcher has now – I can totally dictate pace,” the three-time Cy Young Award winner said. “The rule change of the hitter having only one timeout changes the complete dynamic of the hitter-and-pitcher dynamic. Yeah, I love it.”
The pitch clock is among a series of new rules for this season – including limits on infield shifts and larger bases – that MLB hopes will improve pace of play and introduce more action into the game.
The average game time through three days of spring training is 2 hours, 39 minutes, down from an average of 3:01 for all of spring training last year.
Scherzer says he is learning to play around with the pitch clock.
Washington’s Michael Chavis, the second hitter in the second inning, stepped out of the box when he felt Scherzer was taking too long. That was fine with Scherzer.
The right-hander held the ball for more than 10 seconds before delivering the next pitch as Chavis had to remain in the batter’s box, locked eyes with Scherzer. The veteran pitcher felt he had imposed his will, even though Chavis ultimately singled to right.
“I can work extremely quick. And I can work extremely slow,” Scherzer said. “There’s another layer here to be able to mess