The purpose of shortening the game to seven innings would not be to shorten the length in terms of minutes / hours but to steer the game away from increasingly becoming a home run derby / strike out fest. A big big change I know, but a needed one.
We’ll start with some of the close fun to watch ones.
Padres 3 Pirates 2 | Athletics 3 Blue Jays 2 | Diamondbacks 1 Mets 3
Increase Game Action By Compressing It
If we define a close game as one in which the margin between the teams is 2 runs or less in the final two innings, 5 of yesterday’s 14 games qualify, with most of the rest featuring what’s on the other channels and maybe we should head for the car now to beat the traffic type final innings. If the do or die innings became the 6th and the 7th instead of the 8th or 9th there would be less time for one of the teams to break the game open. There would also be a better chance that the game would be decided by a sudden death extra inning.
Here’s the other two close games and one other one which appears to have been fun to watch.
Marlins 2 Braves 0 | Tigers 4 Mariners 5 | Indians 1 Astros 4
More Web Gems – More Baserunners – Less Strikeouts
In today’s game managers guided by the stat heads tend to play for the big inning powered by the long ball until and unless they find themselves in need of a run or two in the final do or die innings. And if they find themselves behind by a lot in whatever inning they have no choice but to play for the big inning.
Guys who can inside out the ball for a single or at least put the ball in play to advance the runner, steal a base, or make a defensive play against those guys become more valuable. Guys who hit 30 or 40 dingers a year while striking out 25% of the time become less valuable.
Anyone who doesn’t like watching this doesn’t like watching base ball
Elite Starters Become Fan Drawing Stars Again
When I was growing up a Koufax start in October was an event in and of itself. I remember seeing Denny McClain for president bumper stickers (okay he turned out to be bum off the field but we’ve done worse in the position). Yeah the Kershaws are still a big deal, but they don’t have the young fan drawing glamour of the Koufaxs because somewhere around half the games are decided by the bullpens. Talking about the pace of play who needs to watch six or eight bullpen guys a game slowly trot in and warm up.
I suppose these two were okay to watch, especially considering the outcomes.
Orioles 7 Red Sox 4 | Yankees 2 Royals 5
More Pinch Hitters – More Pinch Runners
Maybe teams would go back to 4 man rotations and 10 instead of 12 or 13 man pitching staffs, doubling the number of bench moves available to the manager. More cat and mouse between the pitcher and the speedster on first. More Gates Brown’s and Randy Bush’s.
These three don’t look like they were very fun to watch. I can attest that the last one wasn’t
Cubs 8 Reds 1 | | Rangers 12 White Sox 5 | Brewers 8 Twins 3
Warning: Silence Below Will Be Treated As Agreement
Ho hum. Ho hum. Ho hum. God meant for baseball to played inside!!!
Phillies 4 Cardinals 12 | Rays 8 Angels 3 | Rockies 6 Giants 1 | Dodger Nationals PP