Cubs Opening Day starting pitcher Marcus Stroman became the answer to a trivia question Thursday afternoon. With a runner on second and no out in the top of the third inning, Stroman got ahead in the count, 1-2, against Brewers hitter Christian Yelich. Then we saw the first pitch clock violation in MLB history.
By rule, the count moved to 2-2 even though Stroman hadn't thrown another pitch.
By way of reminder, MLB has implemented a pitch clock at the MLB level for the 2023 season. A pitcher has 15 seconds to throw a pitch with no runners on base and 20 seconds with at least one runner on. That means in this case, Stroman took the full 20 seconds and was dinged with an extra ball.
The violation actually put Stroman in trouble. He threw two more balls after the automatic ball to walk Yelich and give the Brewers two runners on with no out.
Stroman worked out of the jam, though. He struck out Jesse Winker before walking Willy Adames to load the bases with one out. And then Stroman got the grounder he needed and gave the Cubs' new-look middle infield -- Nico Hoerner moving over to second with newcomer Dansby Swanson at short -- the chance to turn two and end the inning.
The Cubs would answer with four runs off 2021 Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes in the bottom of the third.
More importantly, at least when it comes to documenting facts for posterity, however, is that the first-ever MLB pitch clock violation belongs to Marcus Stroman.