Eno Sarris of FanGraphs has an interesting piece up today. He spoke to Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, who was adamant that the Giants’ starter on Tuesday, Jake Peavy, was trying to quick pitch Edwin Encarnacion, among others.
Donaldson said to Sarris, “Pitchers are not trying to deceive runners any more with their balks, they are trying to deceive hitters. With guys like myself, guys like Jose Bautista, guys that have leg kicks, movement in their swing, more than any other area, all that timing, this, that, hold, quick pitch, they’re all trying to do something to mess our timing up.”
Donaldson then pointed out, which Sarris captured in a .gif, Bautista talking to first base umpire Tony Randazzo about Peavy not coming set before pitching to Encarnacion. Peavy noticed this, so he came set on his next pitch and promptly gave up a homer to left field.
Sarris cites rule 5.07(a)(2), which Peavy seems to violate. He also makes a good point that it shouldn’t be up to the hitters and runners to enforce this rule; umpires should be aware of it and make an effort to keep Peavy and other pitchers in line.
While the Blue Jays wound up winning 4-0, Donaldson said, “It’s harder for me as a hitter to know when to start.” He added, “Part of the game is deceiving the batter, but it should be in the rule book.”
As usual, nice reporting and research by Sarris. Check out the FanGraphs article for the visual supplement.