Did the ghosts of Eduardo Rodriguez’s past come back to haunt him Tuesday night?
The Red Sox pitcher’s struggles with tipping pitches throughout his career are well-documented, and it appears Rodriguez might have been doing it again in Boston’s 6-3 win over the New York Mets at Fenway Park.
A tipping incident was first brought to light during the Red Sox’s series with the Seattle Mariners last week when Twitter user The Ecktionary noticed a change in the placement of Rodriguez’s hands.
Fast forward to Tuesday, when the Mets were laying off the changeup quite a bit during Rodriguez’s 4 1/3 innings of work. Even though manager Alex Cora indicated they’d “take a look” at whether Rodriguez was tipping his pitches, he noted it’s his pitchers responsibility to get back on track.
“We gotta get back to pounding the strike zone,” Cora told reporters over Zoom after the game. “That’s what he did early in game, and you saw what happened: A lot of swings and misses, weak contact. Then he walks (Francisco) Lindor, then the 0-2 pitch to Javy (Báez,) he cut it, base hit then after that it was a walk to (Pete) Alonso. We have to pound the strike zone with that stuff. Today he was off with his changeup, but that’s what we gotta do before Sunday.
“We’ll take a look at it,” Cora said when asked if Rodriguez could have been tipping pitches. “There’s a reason we did it against Seattle. Obviously he went back to the hands up today. We’ll look at the video and see if something was going on. But at the end of the day, yeah they laid off some changeups, but in that walk by Lindor, that was from the wind-up, and you gotta attack him right there with the stuff that he had earlier in the game.”
Whatever it is, the Red Sox should act swiftly to correct it with the postseason looming. Boston holds a 1 1/2-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays for the top spot in the AL Wild Card.