The Detroit Tigers sent rookie pitcher Elvin Rodriguez to the mound against the New York Yankees on Sunday. After getting off to a good start, it looked like the Yankees had Rodriguez figured out in the fourth and fifth innings. Well, it turns out that’s exactly what happened. A jomboy video began making the rounds online, in which he identified that the Yankees understood the signs from the Tigers, due to Rodriguez swinging his pitches. The result was lousy, with Rodriguez inadvertently telling the Yankees exactly what he was throwing, and getting bombarded for 10 earned runs on 11 hits as a result.
After the game, receiver Tucker Barnhart and Rodriguez both discussed pitch-tipping, which they didn’t realize was happening until it was too late. by Evan Petzold.
#Tigers catcher Tucker Barnhart: “I didn’t know until (Anthony) Rizzo told me when I got to first base in the eighth.”
Right-hander Elvin Rodriguez: “I didn’t know I was doing this, but I saw the video. Yeah, I was tipping. They understood me.” https://t.co/3LFVe4iBmR
— Evan Petzold (@EvanPetzold) June 5, 2022
Barnhart revealed Anthony Rizzo told him what was happening in the eighth inning. As for Rodriguez, he revealed that he saw the video and acknowledged that he was rocking his pitches, saying “Yeah, I was rocking. [The Yankees] understood me.
It appears the Tigers suspected the Yankees had successfully assessed their signs, however, Rodriguez and Barnhart were blissfully unaware that it had to do with the rookie dropping his head before throwing a breaking ball. As Jomboy pointed out, Rodriguez and Barnhart tried some kind of pretense head-shaking to confuse the Yankees, but it clearly didn’t work.
It’s a tough lesson for the young pitcher to learn, but it’s certainly one he won’t forget. Tipping your pitches is a critical mistake in baseball, and the pitcher often doesn’t even realize he’s doing it until it’s too late. The Yankees wisely used this to their advantage, noticing the trend early in the game and using it to inflict some serious damage at home plate.