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Fast-Working Pitchers

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Entering Monday, the average time of a nine-inning game this season is 3 hours and 9 minutes. It hasn’t been below 3 hours since 2015 (2:56).

If you’re looking for fast-working pitchers, they do still exist. Here are the pitchers who have a history of working the quickest.

Fastest Time Between Pitches Since 2016
Active pitchers, minimum 75 starts

Pitcher Current Team Avg Time Between Pitches (Seconds)
Wade Miley Reds 18.3
Steven Matz Blue Jays 18.6
Brett Anderson Brewers 18.9
German Márquez Rockies 19.3
Jakob Junis Royals 19.6
Carlos Martínez Cardinals 19.6

>>Source: Statcast

I made it a point to go to a game featuring Mark Buehrle and Chris Sale on July 6, 2015. Sale came up with the White Sox when Buerhle was there and Sale modeled his fast-working style off of Buehrle’s approach. When this game occurred, Buehrle had moved on and was pitching for Toronto. Buehrle and Sale were two of the fastest workers in MLB at the time of the game.

The highlight of the game was Buehrle twice striking out Avisaíl García on three pitches. The first strikeout took 23 seconds from the time Buehrle got strike one to the moment when García struck out. The second took 27 seconds. It took me a lot longer to type these last two paragraphs than it took for both strikeouts to happen.

The game was played in 1 hour and 54 minutes. There hasn’t been a nine-inning game played quicker since that one. But there have been 10 nine-inning games that took at least four hours this season.

Maybe Buehrle could come out of retirement and show these guys how it’s done. He’s only 42 years old :) 

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