It seems like every time a pitcher goes through a slump, or has a bad game, someone eventually brings up the idea of pitch-tipping. Welcome to the party, Cole Hamels.
According to the Philadelphia Daily News (via Sporting News), “sources” were concerned that Hamels was giving something away in his poor-but-effective-enough outing against the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLCS. The solution? Wear a bigger glove.
The sources said the lefthander might have been tipping his pitches by the placement of his wrist. So the plan was to have Hamels use a bigger model of his TPK glove to conceal his wrist.
Daily News writer Paul Hagen writes, “Phillies personnel wouldn’t confirm the switch. ‘But that would make sense,’ one insider allowed with a knowing smile.”
I’m not sure how much sense that makes. Wouldn’t you just hold your wrist differently? If you’re hungry, would you solve the problem by grabbing a bigger napkin?
Personally, I’ve always been skeptical of the old pitch-tipping excuse. It always seems like just that: an excuse.
That being said, the Dodgers did tee off on Hamels at times in Wednesday’s game. And according to this story, some teams do put quite a bit of effort into examining the actions of opposing pitchers. So maybe there is something to this.
I guess we’ll have to wait until the World Series and see how Hamels does with his new glove. I think he’s set to start sometime in February.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.