If you didn’t know what it meant to “tip” a pitch before this week, you certainly do now.
The Red Sox and Eduardo Rodriguez won Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3, but it was fairly obvious that the 22-year-old southpaw still was tipping his pitches. And although it didn’t cost him Tuesday, it’s a habit Rodriguez needs to break quickly.
In case you haven’t seen Rodriguez on the mound recently, tipping pitches means he’s making motions — in his case, with his head — that give away which pitch in his arsenal he’s about to unleash. In Rodriguez’s last start, he was lit up by the Baltimore Orioles for it. On Tuesday, not so much, but he still couldn’t shake it.
Take a look at what Rodriguez was doing, courtesy of The Providence Journal’s Brian MacPherson.
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As you can see, Rodriguez’s tipping was more subtle Tuesday than it was against the Orioles, but even a motion that slight won’t get past most professional baseball players. In fact, MacPherson reported that it was pitchers Clay Buchholz and Wade Miley who first alerted Rodriguez of his habit and that David Ortiz said everyone on the Red Sox’s bench could see it.
The 22-year-old southpaw tried his best to avoid it in the first inning, but his control suffered for it. Once he regained his control, however, he started tipping his pitches again. It’s a vicious cycle, and it proves that Rodriguez still is developing.
For what it’s worth, though, the steadfast Rodriguez held it together and wound up giving up just four hits and one earned run to go with four strikeouts and two walks. In other words, the Blue Jays still couldn’t touch his stuff despite the fact that he literally was giving it away.
Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images