Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards, Reds Pull a Fast One despite ESPN's Presence

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards, Reds Pull a Fast One despite ESPN's Presence

Article excerpt

The Cardinals' 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday night was played in almost as quick a time 2 hours, 2 minutes as is humanly possible with a national TV game. That's with ESPN mandating a maximum of 2 minutes, 45 seconds and a minimum of 2 minutes, 30 seconds between half innings.

Given that there were 16 half innings on the clock, the total time between innings ranged between 40 and 44 minutes.

"Very rarely did we take all 2:45," said home-plate umpire Jim Reynolds, the crew chief.

Average that then to 42 minutes of dead time and that means the time the ballgame actually was in progress about 80 minutes or 1 hour, 20 minutes.

A delighted Reynolds said it was the quickest plate job he has had in his 17-year major-league career, which covers more than 400 games.

Asked if it possibly could have been ticked off any faster, Reynolds replied, "There's absolutely no way.

"You had pitchers who threw strikes and batters who were aggressive. This game's a lot more marketable when it's played like that. I'm sure that's what the league wants."

Kolten Wong delivered the game-winning sacrifice fly for the Cardinals in the eighth inning and said, "I felt like that was the fastest game I ever played.

"You're looking up (at the scoreboard) and it's already the sixth inning and it feels like you just got out of the first.

"You don't want to say anything. You just want to keep playing and keep grinding."

Cardinals outfielder Jason Heyward said he didn't find himself necessarily looking at the clock to see how fast the game was rolling.

"Honestly, I haven't figured out where the clock is here yet," he said. "But it was a quick game.

"I didn't realize how quick until I looked out and it was the top of the eighth."

Reynolds said he wouldn't ascribe the racehorse-style game to the new speed-up rules.

"It was just the pitchers (Adam Wainwright and Jordan Walden for the Cardinals, Mike Leake for Cincinnati). And the way these teams play. These teams are aggressive at the plate," Reynolds said.

But he thought the new program, with one of the features keeping hitters in the box more often rather than having them strolling around between pitches, had been working. …

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