Amidst the hullabaloo about whether Yankees ace Luis Severino gave himself enough time to warm up, or whether he was left on the mound too long, Yankees people believe Severino had another problem: that he was tipping his pitches.
“The Red Sox had his pitches,’ one Yankees person says, flat out.
.@LouMerloni just nailed it. Red Sox had a beat on what was coming as early as the second inning. JBJ says "Fastball..." to Mookie before an 0-2 pitch to Holt, Severino pumps in 98 MPH fastball that Holt fouls away. pic.twitter.com/wLGR5dVDys— Dan O'Mara (@Dan_OMara) October 9, 2018
Red Sox broadcaster Lou Merloni pointed out that he noticed there was a tipping issue, and it appeared Red Sox hitters were able to lay off Severino’s biting slider consistently. At one point, NESN noted that Jackie Bradley Jr. mouthed “fastball” on the bench to Mookie Betts on an 0-and-2 pitch to Brock Holt.
By the end, Severino appeared to go away from his slider entirely, so he may have suspected as much. Severino lasted only four batters (and no outs) into the fourth, and many suggested he shouldn’t have been out there even that long, in the 16-1 Yankees defeat. Yankees people say they heard the “chatter” from Red Sox people about pitch tipping, and they all seem to believe there was something to it.
There have been whispers about such an issue in the past, understandable when a player of his talent struggles like he did over a two-month span. He had a 6 ERA over a dreadful 10-game period after the All-Star break.
Jon Heyman is Fancred's baseball insider. He publishes his weekly Inside Baseball column each Thursday on the App and FancredSports.com. You can download the App here and interact with Jon by following him right here.