Word first came down during the game when somebody from ESPN announced that John Kruk had picked up on a pattern indicating that Matt Moore (although this has been a recurring problem for Moore since the minors). Apparently Kruk was successfully calling every pitch during the game. And as you will see in the video below, it may have had a huge impact on last night’s loss…

 
 

7 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    i was screaming about this in comments earlier this year

    by the all-star break he started mixing it up a little and he’s tap for off-speed pitches SOMETIMES as well (possibly to intentionally mislead hitters?)

    this must be a very subconscious thing on his part

    hopefully they coach it out of him

  2. Hal says:

    He has been doing this all year. At some point he did start mixing it up and tapping on breaking pitches, but the mix is poor and a tap usually means a fastball.

  3. Eric says:

    I thought he had gotten rid of this little hitch. He was doing this last year in the minors. They have to coach this out of him.

  4. Kevin says:

    http://www.raysprospects.com/2011/07/matt-moore-tipping-pitches-now-with.html

    Wrote about this last summer. The Rays seem to feel the hitter can’t really see it that well, which makes sense since it’s in-out movement hidden behind a glove 60 feet away, so that’s my theory on why it hasn’t been corrected.

    • Sarah says:

      This is what Moore was quoted as saying in the newspaper – that the tap may be obvious from the center field camera, but the batter can’t see it. I’m not sure if that’s completely true (maybe sometimes it’s visible from the front?) Also question is whether there’s enough time for, say, a runner on second base to communicate to a batter — my guess is that it all happens too quickly for someone viewing Moore from behind to let a batter know what’s coming.

      At any rate, if he is tipping his pitches it’s pretty amazing that he gets so many swinging strikes.

  5. Cork Gaines says:

    A couple of things to keep in mind with tipping pitches…

    It is like stealing signs. And like stealing signs, not all hitters want to know. Those batters prefer to trust their reactions and instinct and may feel that knowing too often will only hurt them when they don’t know.

    And as it was mentioned in the video and in Moore’s comments, it is not clear how easy it is too see. However, a batter should be able to see it if they are looking for it. And whether or not a hitter can do that may depend on where the batter normally focuses during the windup.

    A lot of hitters like to focus on a specific spot (e.g. logo on the cap) and then shift to the release point just as ball is about to be released. This helps increase focus. But in order to see Moore’s tell, the batters would have to change their routine or be focusing on a spot where it is still in the line of sight.

    So again, this may be a case where all the batters know, but only a few are willing to use it.

    So the A-Rod’s and Jeters may not care. But take a guy like Russell Martin, who is not a very good hitter to begin with, and is struggling recently against lefties. That’s the type of hitter that is looking for any edge he can find. And he may have been one hitter that chose to use the info.

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