MLB reportedly pitches two key rule changes in effort to speed up games

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has made no secret of his desire to speed up the pace of play during games, and it appears baseball is trying to take some tangible steps in that direction.

ESPN.com reported Monday that MLB submitted proposals to the players’ union last month that would raise the strike zone and eliminate the need for pitchers to deliver four balls on an intentional walk. The commissioner’s office first floated the changes last year but did not submit them to be enacted until January.

The latter initiative would seem to have a greater chance of being enacted, but it also doesn’t figure to make much of an impact on the overall pace of play. ESPN notes that pitchers issued 932 intentional walks last season, or just one every 5.2 games. But having a batter simply take his base after the decision to issue an intentional walk is made certainly would speed up the process a bit.

Five years almost to the day after the Braves set their mark, the Brewers matched the record on April 20, 1987, after blazing through their first 13 games. As with the Braves, the Brewers’ hot start wasn’t expected.

But also like the 1982 Braves, the 1987 Brewers couldn’t parlay their early streak into postseason magic, despite featuring future Hall of Famers Robin Yount and Paul Molitor. And like the 1982 Braves, the ’87 Brewers streaked in the other direction, too.

After a win on May 2 gave them a 20-3 record, the Brewers embarked on a 12-game losing streak that dropped them out of first place, never to return. They ultimately finished in third place with a record of 91-71.

The endings to the Braves’ and Brewers’ seasons shouldn’t diminish the accomplishment of a 13-game winning streak. No team has really come close to equaling the teams’ hot Chicago Blackhawks Cheap Jerseys starts since. A lot has to go right. There must be talent, yes, but there also has to be a good bit of baseball luck.

Then again, maybe there’s something unlucky about that No. 13 after all.

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