Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens offered his thoughts on what he might do if he’d played with a pitch clock during his MLB career.
The legendary pitcher explained how back when he played during the 1980s and ’90s, managers didn’t ever want to see pitchers give up a base hit on an 0–2 count. With the implementation of the pitch clock this year, Clemens detailed what he would possibly do instead in that situation.
“I’m not so sure if I didn’t give some of these guys 0–2 right now with this pitch clock, and I knew they swung the bat or saw the ball out of my hand really well off me—I know who those guys are—I’m not so sure that I just wouldn’t hold the ball and get the pitch clock penalty and make it 1–2 right there instead,” Clemens said, via ESPN’s Buster Olney. “Because most guys that are wasting pitches, when I talk about an 0–2 pitch to them, I want them to have the hitter almost offer at it, at least make a check swing or keep it in the area. But, they miss so bad with an 0–2 pitch in the dirt or wherever, they don’t even offer at it. Then that hitter might think, ‘O.K., is he going to throw this next one? Is he going to take another penalty to make it 2–2?’ ... This will make it a little more interesting to a veteran pitcher who knows what he’s doing.”
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When pitchers violate the pitch clock, an automatic ball is charged. If a batter violates the pitch clock, then an automatic strike is added.
Clemens admitted he sees ways to “exploit” the pitch clock, but he said he plans to share some of those thoughts during his appearance on ESPN’s Opening Day broadcast of the Astros–White Sox game on Thursday.