The new rule changes in the MLB have done wonders for the pace of play of games, even for the Colorado Rockies when they play at Coors Field. In the first week and half of play, game times are down a staggering 31 minutes to an average time of 2 hours and 38 minutes. This is on track to be the fastest since it was 2:35 in1984.
This is great news for fans of the Colorado Rockies who grown accustomed to marathon four-hour-long games at Coors Field that last till the wee-hours of the night. The typical 12-10 shootouts will still happen, but fans can now expect to be on their way home so they can watch the game highlights on the 10 o’clock news. In fact, even though it’s a small sample size, the longest game in Denver so far has lasted only 2 hours and 47 minutes
The problem for the Colorado Rockies is, besides the rule changes, they have also been doing their part in quickening up the pace of play by their approach at the plate.
Through 13 games, the Rockies’ offense is averaging 3.81 pitches per at-bat, the sixth-fewest in all of baseball. On top of that, they are swinging at the first pitch of an at-bat 33.5% of the time, third-worst in MLB. That may not sound like a big deal, but the only two teams who have a worse swing rate are the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals. These two teams have a combined record of 7-18 heading into play on Friday. Throw in fact that the Rockies have only drawn a walk 30 times (second-fewest among MLB teams) shows that they have been very impatient at the plate.
To make matters worse, the Rockies have hit into 13 double plays, the fifth-most in MLB, including four in their most recent back-to-back losses to the St. Louis Cardinals. Nothing makes an inning go faster and ruins scoring chances than a twin killing.
While the new rule changes have been a pleasant addition to the game of baseball, Rockies’ fans would sure love to see their offense stop making the game go even faster by having a different approach at the plate and scoring a few more runs. Otherwise, it will likely be another long season in Denver, no matter how quick pace of the game is.