What long has been suspected was finally confirmed by a Houston Astros player: Yu Darvish was tipping pitches in the World Series.
SI’s Tom Verducci included a notable nugget in an article on Monday from the Winter Meetings that confirmed Darvish tipped his pitches.
Here’s how Verducci described what happened:
The player said it worked like this: Darvish holds the ball at his side when he gets the sign from the catcher. Whether he re-grips or not as he brings the ball into his glove was the tip-off whether he was going to throw a slider/cutter or a fastball.
“We knew the first time we faced him [in Game 3],” the player said. “The next time [in Game 7] it was mostly the same, but then it was more about just having a great game plan going in. We knew he was going to try to go back to his slider to find it. We had a great approach.”
Darvish failed to make it out of the second inning in either of his World Series starts, and that was after he dominated the Diamondbacks and Cubs earlier in the postseason. His inability to get outs in the World Series really could have only been attributed to one thing: tipping pitches, which is what many thought. After all, that is what accounted for his horrific start against the Marlins earlier in the season.
The Astros’ reported interest in Darvish as a free agent further solidified this idea. If they thought he was a postseason choker, they wouldn’t want to sign him. But if they knew his inability to get outs was simply due to him tipping, they would know how to fix it so he could get back to being an ace against other teams.
Once again, Dave Roberts’ decision to start Darvish made sense. The Dodgers’ problem was that they failed to discover the flaw the Astros had found.