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Nationals' Finnegan laments game-ending pitch-clock violation

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images Sport / Getty

It was bound to happen eventually.

Saturday night's game between the Colorado Rockies and Washington Nationals ended with MLB's first-ever walk-off pitch-clock violation.

Nationals pitcher Kyle Finnegan, against whom an automatic ball was called on a 3-2 count with the bases loaded, expressed frustration for letting things slip in the 8-7 loss.

"I'm just trying to focus on the pitch and then location," Finnegan said postgame, according to Jack Magruder of The Associated Press. "I thought I picked up the clock. I guess by the time I picked up and looked at the catcher and delivered the pitch, I was just a hair too late.

"Those situations, it just can't happen. We deserved to win, and I wasn't able to do my job."

Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon, the beneficiary of the automatic ball, offered an honest assessment of the situation.

"You hate to see a game decided that way, but I’m happy it worked out in our favor," he said. "I'm never looking (at the clock). I'm letting the umpire do his job. I didn't know what was going on until the umpire said something."

MLB implemented the pitch clock ahead of the 2023 season in an attempt to speed up games. The league has since reduced the time afforded to pitchers with runners on base from 20 to 18 seconds.

The Rockies and Nationals will conclude their three-game series Sunday.

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