MVP returns to LA, gets applause, then auto-strikes “seriously flawed pitch clock”

Cody Bellinger (28) of the Chicago Cubs broke the pitch clock rule while receiving applause from the fans in a game against his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bellinger started as center fielder five times in the game against the Dodgers held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California on the 15th (hereinafter referred to as Korean time) and recorded 1 hit, 1 walk and 1 run in 4 at-bats. 

Bellinger, who made his major league debut in 2017, played for the Dodgers until last season. During the six years he played for the Dodgers, he played an active role with a batting average of .248 in 745 games (652 hits in 2627 bats), 152 homers, 422 RBIs, OPS of .819, and left many achievements such as winning the 2019 MVP award and winning the 2020 World Series. However, he showed a sharp decline in his skills recently, and eventually left the Dodgers to play for the Cubs this season. 

Bellinger, visiting Dodger Stadium for the first time since joining the Cubs, was applauded by the fans before stepping into the plate. The problem is that when the pitcher starts preparing to pitch, the batter must also finish preparing to hit when the pitch clock has more than 8 seconds left. Bellinger stood at the plate for a moment so the fans could applaud, but a pitch clock violation was declared. Bellinger, who started at bat after receiving one strike, retreated with a grounder to first baseman in this at-bat. 

Yahoo Sports, an American media, said on the 16th, “The pitch clock rule introduced by the major leagues this season has been a great success. Game time is reduced and players play more frequently. This is what Major League Baseball was aiming for when it introduced the new rules. However, in the game between the Dodgers and the Cubs, there was a pretty serious flaw in the system,” he said, pointing out Bellinger’s violation of the pitch clock rule. 

“Bellinger’s case raises questions about the pitch clock rule,” said Yahoo Sports, who commented, “If you accept the rule as written스포츠토토, referee Jim Wolf has made the right decision. At that moment, punishing Bellinger for pitch-clock violations seemed absurd, but the rules were applied appropriately. Most fans are in favor of the pitch-clock rule, but do we really want the rule to apply in a moment like this?” 

In practice, there are examples of flexible implementation of the pitch clock regulation. At Pittsburgh’s home opener held on the 8th, Andrew McCutchen, who returned to the team this season, received enthusiastic applause from home fans in his first at-bat, but Ryan Wills, the then referee, did not declare McCutchen a pitch clock violation. 

Yahoo Sports said, “The applause fans sent to McCutchen is one of the most moving scenes in the major leagues in the 2023 season. Instead of calling McCutchen a pitch clock violation, referee Wills recognized how important the moment was and allowed it to happen. However, when Bellinger was applauded, there was a referee Wolf, not Wills, behind home plate,” he explained, explaining that there were already exceptions to the pitch clock rule. 

In an interview after the game on the 15th, Bellinger said, “I think rules are rules,” and “It was a really good and wonderful moment. “Except for today’s appearance on the other side of Dodger Stadium, I have many good memories here. Nice and happy to be back, but a bit confused. It brought back many memories I had. I received a lot of applause, and I tried my best to immerse myself in that moment.” 

Yahoo Sports said, “Chief Wolf was just doing his job. But at this point, hopefully MLB will give umpires discretion to allow fans to express their love for their players or celebrate a record-breaking moment. It’s good when the game goes fast, but there are moments when you need to take a break,” he said, emphasizing the need for exceptions to the pitch clock rule.

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