MLB average game time drops by six minutes

by Daryn Albert - The average time of a nine-inning major league game dropped for the first time since 2018, likely helped by the introduction of the PitchCom electronic device to signal pitches.

MLB average game time drops 6 minutes ahead of pitch clock play Manfred on HR record: 'Let fans make their own judgment' (2:27) Rob Manfred details how fans will use historical context to look at records such as Aaron Judge's AL-record 62nd home run. (2:27) 4:20 PM ET ESPN News Services NEW YORK -- The average time of a nine-inning major league game dropped for the first time since 2018, likely helped by the introduction of the PitchCom electronic device to signal pitches. The average this season was 3 hours, 3 minutes, 44 seconds, the commissioner's office said Monday. The figure declined from a record 3:10:07 last year and was the lowest since 3:00:44 in 2018. MLB's average was 2:46 in 2005 and 2:33 in 1981. Editor's Picks 1 Related PitchCom allows catchers to input signs to a wristband device and pitchers to listen to audio tucked inside their cap. It has helped cut down the number of times pitchers stepped off the rubber to go over hand signals from catchers. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced last month that a pitch clock will be introduced in the major leagues next season, a decision made by the sport's 11-man competition committee over the unanimous opposition of the panel's four players. The clock will be set at 15 seconds with no runners on base and 20 seconds with runners -- up from the 14/19 tested at Triple-A this season and 14/18 at lower minor league levels. The average time of nine-inning minor league games dropped to 2:38 this season from 3:03 in 2021. There were 216 extra-inning games in the third season of the rule of placing a runner on second base in each extra frame, down from 233 last year and 78 during the shortened 2020 season. The longest this year was Cleveland's 7-6, 15-inning win over Minnesota in the second game of a doubleheader on Sept. 17. That was one inning shy of the longest in the three seasons of the rule, the Los Angeles Dodgers' 16-inning win at San Diego on Aug. 25, 2021. Home teams went 113-103 in extra-inning games this year. Meanwhile, just over half of the 1,261 video review challenges made by teams in the major leagues were successful this season. Major League Baseball said Thursday that 633 calls challenged by clubs were overturned, which comes to 50.2%. There were 240 calls confirmed and 388 allowed to stand - where there was not enough evidence to confirm or overturn. Going into the final three days of the season, the New York Mets led with a 77.8% success rate, followed by St. Louis (62.2%) and Cleveland (61%). Oakland (38.5%) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (39.5%) were the least successful. In addition, there were 173 crew chief reviews initiated by umpires. MLB said 35 were overturned, a 20.2% rate. Seventy-seven calls were confirmed and 40 allowed to stand. Of the crew chief reviews, seven were for rules checks and 14 for record-keeping. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.