Spilled milk and tipped pitches

The Astros won the World Series and the Dodgers did not. That’s the bottom line (even if at the top of the page) and it does absolutely no good whatsoever to cry over spilled milk.

As to be expected, within minutes of the final out being recorded in game-7 of what was arguably one of the best World Series ever played, the ‘what ifs’ began flying. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, although you tend to hear the ‘what ifs’ far more from fans and media of the losing team and pretty much never from fans and media of the winning team.

Here are a couple:

  • What if Yasiel Puig had hit a second home run (or even reached base) in the bottom of the 11th inning of game-2 instead of striking out?
  • What if Clayton Kershaw didn’t have a clunker in game-5?

The list goes on and on from there.

Things are going to be a bit gloomy around Dodger Stadium for a while. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

But Puig did strike out in the bottom of the 11th inning of game-2 and Kershaw did have a clunker in game-5, and that’s, yet again, the bottom line.

Well here’s one that you may not have heard about. Remember game-3 and game-7, the games in which late-season acquisition Yu Darvish never made it out of the second inning of either, while giving up nine runs on nine hits (including two home runs), walked two and struck out none in his combined 3.1 innings pitched for a ridiculous ERA of 21.60?

Well it never should have happened.

The morning after last Wednesday’s 5-1 rout of the Dodgers by the now World Series Champion Astros in game-7 of the Fall Classic, former major leaguer and current ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez was a guest on ESPN’s popular ‘Mike & Mike’ radio show. During that broadcast, Perez revealed that upon reviewing video footage of Darvish’s two implosions, the 6′-5″ / 220-pound Dodgers right-hander was tipping his pitches. In other words, Astros hitters knew exactly when Darvish was going to throw his fastball and his slider even before the ball left his hand.

“All of a sudden I realized his right hand, every time he’s going to throw the fastball, puts it in [his glove] and it never moves, because he already has the grip,” Perez said. “But every time he’s going to throw the slider, puts it in, and you see a little bit of movement. That’s all you need: a little bit of movement. Now I know it’s not a fastball. I eliminate the number one. You eliminate the number one, it opens the door for beautiful things to come.”

…beautiful unless you are the Dodgers, that is.

The burning question is, of course, if Eduardo Perez, a former utility first baseman / outfielder who has been out of the game for 11 years, can spot something as simple (and blatant) as this, why couldn’t Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, catchers Austin Barnes and Yasmani Grandal, and most certainly Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt?

It seems unfathomable that Astros hitters picked up that Darvish was tipping his pitches and the Dodgers coaches and players could not. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

But alas, the Astros did pick it up and won the 2017 World Series in seven games … and that’s the bottom line.

 

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3 Responses to “Spilled milk and tipped pitches”

  1. oldbrooklynfan says:

    Tipping pitches and stealing signs has always been a part of baseball, as we all know. I always felt that the team that is the victim of it, should try harder to prevent the team that is stealing from them from doing so. There are some instances in how the stealing is done which is considered not proper, but most of it is not illegal.

    • Respect the Rivalry says:

      Simple solution the the runner at 2B giving location. Catcher signals and sets up for a pitch down and away. They have an extra signal, something not likely to be noticed by somebody not in the know, to throw a fastball up and in. Since umpires typically set up there the pitcher has a good target (I’m not saying try to hit the umpire.) Keep the pitch in the strike zone and there’s no HBP even if it hits the batter, assuming the umpire is competent.
      Likely only one of those will convince the batter to ignore the runner on second.

  2. Respect the Rivalry says:

    I don’t see any excuse for the Dodgers letting that happen in two separate games. Isn’t that what reviewing videos is for?

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