Average time of nine-inning games sets MLB record despite efforts to improve pace of play

NEW YORK -- The average time of a nine-inning game set a record once again this year despite Major League Baseball's efforts to improve pace.

The average was 3 hours, 10 minutes, 7 seconds for the 2021 regular season, the commissioner's office said after the regular season ended Sunday.

That was up from 3:07:46 for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and 3:05:35 in 2019.

MLB instituted a three-batter minimum for relievers in 2020, but active rosters were expanded to 28, giving managers more pitching options. Roster size dropped to 26 for most of this season before expanding to 28 from Sept. 1 on. That compares with 25 for most of the 2019 season and 40 from Sept. 1 on.