Orioles third baseman Manny Machado left Wednesday’s game against the Pirates with left wrist soreness, the team announced.
The Pirates had runners on first and second base in the top of the second inning on singles by Andrew McCutchen and Elias Diaz. The duo attempted a double-steal. As McCutchen slid into third base to try to beat the throw and tag, he inadvertently hit Machado’s left wrist with his spikes.
Machado was examined by the team trainer and initially stayed in the game. But leading off the bottom of the fourth, Ruben Tejada pinch-hit for Machado and grounded out.
The Orioles should have more on Machado’s condition as he undergoes further evaluation. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .214/.290/.432 with 12 home runs and 27 RBI in 245 plate appearances.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.