SportsPulse: And then there were four. The Houston Astros clinched their ticket to the ALCS. Here’s everything you need to know heading into the league championship series.
There may have been a reason the Houston Astros were able to tee-off on Tampa Bay Rays starter Tyler Glasnow in the first inning.
He was tipping his pitches.
“I went back and looked and it was pretty obvious, as far as the tips go,” admitted Glasnow after the 6-1 loss in Game 5 of the American League Division Series.
“I’m not going to say that’s the reason why. I left some pitches over the middle of the plate and they’re really good hitters and they can do things with it. I don’t care how hard you throw to good hitters. I don’t know if that’s what it was, but when i look back, it was pretty obvious.”
The Astros scored three runs before Glasnow recorded an out in the first inning. Then Yuli Gurriel extended the lead to 4-0 with another RBI single.
The Astros have a reputation of watching pitchers very closely. But it’s not an implication of them stealing signs, rather Houston batters being able to spot a pitchers tendencies early on and watching film of their previous starts.
In the 2017 World Series, the Astros noticed something from Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish’s delivery and battered him in two starts.
Astros slugger Alex Bregman, who ripped a two-run double off Glasnow in the first inning, was diplomatic when asked if he detected anything unusual from Glasnow.
“No, no, no,” he said. “He’s as tough to face as anybody, I think if you went around and asked everybody on our team. It was just a team approach today. It was just one at-bat after another.”
Glasnow, who finished the regular season with a 1.78 ERA over 12 starts, was chased after 2 ⅔ innings allowing five hits and four earned runs.
The Astros won the series and advanced to the American League Championship Series to face the New York Yankees.
In his postgame press conference, Rays manager Kevin Cash addressed the possibility of Glasnow’s potential pitch tipping, but didn’t think it was a major concern.
“Well, they could have been. We are aware at times with some pitchers, but at the end of the day it’s 98 and it’s a breaking ball. You’ve still got to do your job with it, and they certainly did.”