The most ridiculous moment of Opening Day belonged to the Mets after the umpires hit Jeff McNeil with a strike because of Pete Alonso.
The entire MLB world is going to have to get used to the pitch clock this season but it’s already clear the new rule will come with plenty of controversy.
On Opening Day, things mostly went smoothly on the pitch clock front. Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman was the first player to run afoul of the time limit. The game moved on without much drama.
However, an incident in the Mets game against the Marlins proved that violations won’t always feel so cut-and-dry. Any rule that penalizes a batter for something his teammate at first base did isn’t going to go over very well afterall.
Mets pitch clock violation highlighted issue with new rule
So here’s what happened: Pete Alonso was on first base with Jeff McNeil at the plate. The umpires stopped the game and added a strike to the count because they determined that Alonso didn’t retake his place at first base quickly enough.
That’s right, McNeil ended up in a 0-2 hole because of the runner at first.
You don’t have to hate the pitch clock as a concept to hate this kind of outcome.
What’s most annoying about the incident is how much it delayed the game. The pitch clock was introduced to speed things up. Calling that violation took more time than just letting the game proceed as normal.
It makes sense that MLB wants to prevent baserunners from causing delays, hoping to get the opposing pitcher in trouble with the pitch clock. It didn’t look like that was Alonso’s intention though. It all felt very silly.
In the end, it didn’t harm the Mets. McNeil hit an RBI single and New York went on to win 5-3 over the Marlins. A 1-0 start at least lessens the pain of finding out about Justin Verlander’s injury. It can be hard to be a Mets fan sometimes.