Without question, this is a potentially big development for Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. In the aftermath of a hard-fought 4-2 loss in game two of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals, something big emerged.
For instance, take a look at the video below which Fabian Ardaya tweets. In fact, watch it several times through. While in the sixth inning of Friday night’s game at Dodger Stadium, the TBS camera crew picks something up.
Is Trea Turner explaining how Clayton Kershaw may be tipping his pitches? pic.twitter.com/oOjsKBhpoi
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) October 5, 2019
Furthermore, what is seen is Nationals’ shortstop Trea Turner showing his hands to outfielder Adam Eaton in between Kershaw deliveries. Now, why would he do this you ask? Obviously, the Nationals have picked up a ‘tell’ in Kershaw’s deliveries.
What this means – Kershaw is doing something as part of routine – that allows the opponent to know what is coming next in terms of pitch type. Moreover, if a big league hitter knows what is coming; well you know what happens usually.
Clayton Kershaw was asked about possible pitch tipping. “I’m not sure,” he said. “I’ll check it out.”
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) October 5, 2019
Therefore, following the game J.P. Hoornstra asked Kershaw about this possibility of tipping pitches. Notably, Kershaw didn’t shoot down the notion; which is encouraging. Here’s what he had to say regarding the matter:
“I’m not sure,” he said. “I’ll check it out.”
Certainly – it’s not only key that this gets discovered now – but that a veteran is willing to admit something like this and have the willingness to take a look at it. Then, corrections can be made.
Kershaw gets credit for the quality start in Friday night’s game, however he was just not effective enough to get the series to 2-0 Los Angeles. During his start, he struck out four while walking three; in addition he gave up six hits and plunked a couple hitters. In short, it was not vintage Kershaw.
Finally, this is a key development to find early in the playoffs. It’s possible you might recall another Dodgers’ starting pitcher who was supposedly tipping pitches during the postseason. Indeed – that man’s name was Yu Darvish – and it was game seven of the 2017 World Series against the Astros.
If the Dodgers are going to make a title run, Kershaw must get this issue cleaned up.