MLB average game time drops 6 minutes ahead of pitch clock

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.

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.

Video Review Challenges

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 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.

The New York Mets led the majors with a 78.9% success rate, followed by St. Louis (63.2%) and Cleveland (61.9%).

Oakland (37.5%), the Los Angeles Angels (38.3%) 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.

Including crew chief reviews there were 1,434 total reviews, of which 668 were overturned (46.6%), 317 were confirmed (22.1%) and 428 were allowed to stand (29.8%).

The average time of a video review was 1 minute, 31 seconds.

Injury List

Use of MLB's injured list declined by 13% this season and time lost fell by 4%.

There were 854 placements on the injured list through the end of the regular season on Wednesday. That was down from 983 placements in 2021, the first full season following a schedule curtailed to 60 games because of the pandemic.

Days lost to time on the injured list totaled 41,916, down from 43,513 in 2021.

MLB.TV Sets Streaming Record

Fans have watched more than 11.5 billion minutes of game action on MLB.TV during the regular season, a record for the streaming package and a 9.8% increase over last year.

The five most-watched games on the 20-year-old streaming platform came this season, including the Red Sox-Yankees opener on April 8.

Overall, nine of the 10 most-watched days and games were from this season. Last year, more than 10.5 billion minutes were viewed, marking the first time MLB.TV passed the 10 billion-minute milestone.

Major League Baseball also said in a release that companion programming saw an 84% increase. This was also the first season MLB had a pair of streaming network packages with a Friday night doubleheader on Apple TV+ and Sunday afternoon games on Peacock.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.