Beckett's pace a problem

The data shows that working slowly hurts a pitcher's stat line

Updated: September 1, 2012, 10:41 AM ET
By Ben Jedlovec | Baseball Info Solutions
Josh BeckettJustin Edmonds/Getty ImagesJosh Beckett has a 5.21 ERA this year, and his slow pace isn't helping matters.

Every baseball fan has felt it. A Josh Beckett-CC Sabathia matchup catches your attention on paper, but when you sit down to witness the marquee event, you quickly realize you're in for an agonizingly slow-paced ballgame bound to endure for close to four hours. In today's technological world, fans aren't used to waiting 30 seconds for anything, especially when it comes to waiting for Beckett to throw a single pitch. In baseball, the pitcher usually controls the tempo of the game, and pitchers receive the majority of the blame when a nine-inning game goes especially long.

Fans aren't the only ones who have to endure. The players themselves are at the mercy of the pitcher on the mound. Fielders have limited attention spans and focus; between batters, pitchers, mound visits and pitching changes, there is enough time between pitches that a fielder's mind can wander.

As a result, you've probably heard a commentator or manager say that quick workers get better defensive support because the fielders are on their toes. But is this true? Let's find out.