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Fine, the Red Sox and Yankees play long games. But who plays the shortest?

Sep 2, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT


Everyone knows the Yankees and Red Sox play marathon games, but over at Market Watch, Sam Mamudi figures out who plays the shortest:

Among clubs that have played each other at least six times this season, the shortest average for a nine-inning game is from meetings between the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants, calculated at 2:27. Interleague contests between the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres also came in under two and a half hours, clocking an average of 2:29. The third shortest matchup this season is between the Giants and Philadelphia Phillies; those games last an average of 2:32.

Overall, the White Sox play in the shortest games regardless of opponent, with an average of 2:43.  Adam Dunn strikes out quickly, you see.

And yes, most of the short-game teams are low-scoring teams.  It ain’t all about mound visits and long delays between pitches.

  1. Joe - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Craig called the Phillies a low-scoring team…what a hater!!

    • b7p19 - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:08 PM

      Haha. Oh boy, here we go.

    • ditto65 - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      “most of the short game teams”

    • Louie Schuth - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM

      This is clearly a knock on Ryan Howard.

    • clydeserra - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:56 PM

      it was a compliment. Teams *playing * the Phillies are low scoring teams

  2. cur68 - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    To be fair you have to say that the Sox and Yankees stock some real patient hitters. Some of the most patient I’ve ever seen. Those guys foul off a lot of pitches, take a lot of balls, and drag out an inning by wearing down the pitcher’s arm as a result. The exact opposite of Adam Dunn, IOW. This is my opinion of why they win so much: excellent plate discipline. Throw in mound visits and spy vs spy managerial strategizing and you have the 4 hour 9 inning game.

    Those teams playing short games do not enjoy as much success in weaker divisions (Phillies notwithstanding: you don’t wear out cyborgs like Halladay, Lee & Hamels; you get a sapper in to blow them up on the mound maybe, but you don’t have any hope of wearing them down).

    • yankeesfanlen - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:12 PM

      Plus, when a 30 minute drive to the Stadium (or Fenway) takes 2 hours, you’re used to waiting.

      • jwbiii - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:49 AM

        Who drives to Fenway?

    • jeffrp - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:45 PM

      Exactly. It’s about the number of pitches these teams see. Here are last night’s game times with the number of pitches:

      TEAMS #P Time
      NYY/Bos 381 4:21
      KCR/Det 337 3:17
      Oak/Cle 296 3:06
      TBR/Tex 285 3:03
      Phi/Cin 278 3:03
      Tor/Bal 302 3:01
      Fla/NYM 278 3:01
      LAD/Pit 293 3:00
      StL/Mil 272 2:57
      Was/Atl 267 2:48
      LAA/Sea 281 2:42

      • cur68 - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:05 PM

        Lester had a 40 something pitch 1st inning and only gave up a run. He was over a hundred pitches by the 5th. Burnett was at 96 by the 5th. That’s just a ridonkuclous amount of pitching. When it’s all said and done guys that hit a lot of foul balls and walk a lot get you more wins. Get 2 teams stacked with those guys on it and watch the beer vendors make a killing.

        Len’s right: you gotta train for that kind of viewing.

      • clydeserra - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:06 PM

        it looks like more pitches and more time per pitch no matter how you slice it.

      • clydeserra - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:33 PM

        what I mean by that is the BOS-NYY game is about 48 seconds per pitch, the others, in a small sample, are in the mid 30s to low 40s.

        Now I understand some of this is commercial time and such, but it adds up to make a plodding view experience. I think the people here would watch the game, but casual fans are going to be turned off by waiting 4 hours to see a complete game.

        Thursday nights game in Boston there were tons of empty seat by the end. looked like about 70% capacity in the 9th to me.

    • clydeserra - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:59 PM

      a little but, its time between pitches. It seems like neither team has gone over a plan for the hitters. Its like its a surprise that they are going to throw the ball again.

      • jeffrp - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:28 PM

        Maybe it takes a little longer to decide what to throw to Robinson Cano with two runners on than it does to throw to Miguel Olivo with the bases empty. Which at bat do you want to watch?

      • clydeserra - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:48 PM

        OK. Why don’t you know what you are going to throw to Cano before he steps into the box?

  3. - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    The ChiSox also have Mark Buerhle who I works fast that any pitcher I’ve seen.

    • clydeserra - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      I think it was a Buerhle v Tim Hudson game in Oakland on fireworks night that ended before it was dark.

  4. ditto65 - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Who wants to watch teams rush through a game. It’s like they are just pitching and swinging to get some unpleasant task over with.

  5. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    “Overall, the White Sox play in the shortest games regardless of opponent, with an average of 2:43. Adam Dunn strikes out quickly, you see.” Funny stuff! The prevailing reason is undoubtedly that almost all of their SPs are very quick working guys. No one more so than Buerhle.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:38 PM

      Buerhle and Halladay both work quickly, thus their teams tend to have shorter games on average.

      • philsgamer - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:50 PM

        Don’t forget Lee who stands there on the rubber waiting for you to get in the batter’s box.

  6. phillyphever - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Only winners I see in long games is the beer venders. Otherwise, those long games are a pain in the arse.

  7. addictedzone - Sep 2, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    Back when games weren’t as important, the Mets played a string of five games in a row in :


    Oh wait, did I say not important? Those were the length of the games for the ’69 World Series.

  8. jeffrp - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    Ah the late 60’s, when everyone hit like todays Mariners, Giants and Padres.

  9. jwbiii - Sep 3, 2011 at 1:53 AM

    Note that the shorter playing serieses are all inter-division or inter-league, ie. six games. Small sample size theatre, I think.

  10. andyreidisfat - Sep 3, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    If people are so pissy about game times just put in a pitch clock. It wouldn’t affect the majority of pitchers as most like to work quick. And as punishment if they don’t pitch on time you take away a strike or if no strikes then u add a ball

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