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Max Scherzer Frustratedly Sounds Off on League’s Strict Enforcement of Pitch Clock

The pitch clock has brought about immense change in baseball, and players have more or less gotten the hang of quickening the pace after just two months of live games. That doesn’t mean that they’re all happy about it—and one of the game’s most outspoken voices had something to say about the way umpires have been enforcing the pitch clock rules.

Mets ace Max Scherzer had some criticism for how pitch clock violations have been handled after his start on Thursday, which New York won, 4–2. 

The three-time Cy Young Award winner got into an argument with home plate umpire Tripp Gibson after Scherzer had his warm-up pitches limited before the fifth inning. MLB rules give pitchers two minutes between innings to warm up, but Scherzer was forced to wait to begin his warmup routine since Mets catcher Francisco Álvarez made the last out in the previous half-inning.

“Why can’t the umpires have discretion in that situation to allow eight normal warm-up pitches?” Scherzer said, per ESPN’s Joon Lee. “Why do we have to be so anal about this to have the clock shoved in everybody’s face and try to step out every little second that’s going into the game?”

Scherzer told reporters after the game that Gibson told him that the league mandated that umpires strictly enforce the clock, and expressed frustration for such rigidity when situations like the one on Thursday occur.

“It’s situations like this that really are frustrating not only for pitchers, players, but even umpires,” Scherzer said. “That’s what Tripp says. Tripp is handcuffed. Why is Tripp handcuffed to not allow something normal, a normal routine. Why can’t Tripp make that call?”

Scherzer was sharp on Thursday, allowing just one run with nine strikeouts in seven innings as the Mets notched their third straight win.

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