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WillyM

9/6/12 - Stealing signs?

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The Orioles' Sept. 6, 2012 game against the Yankees was featured on MASN's Orioles Classics the other night.  This was the game in which the Orioles took a 6-1 lead into the top of the eighth, only to have the Yankees score five times to tie it, 6-6.  Then the Orioles proceeded to score four in the bottom of the eighth for a dramatic 10-6 victory.

One pitch in particular left me wondering if there was some sign-stealing going on.

The Yankees had two runs home with two outs in the top of the eighth.  Eric Chavez was on second base, Curtis Granderson on first, and Russell Martin was the hitter.

Pedro Strop threw a good slider on the first pitch and Martin swung and missed for strike one.

Strop then fired a fast ball with plenty of steam on it, right down the middle.  Martin made no move to swing at it.  It should have been strike two.

But as Strop delivered the pitch, Matt Wieters, who had evidently called for another slider low and away, shifted to his right and began to move his glove over to where he expected the ball would arrive.  He tried to adjust at the last instant when he realized it was coming in straight, but the ball went off his mitt and his chest protector for a passed ball.

The plate ump, apparently distracted by Wieters' movement, called the pitch a ball.

Wieters went to the mound and conferred with Strop after the cross-up.  Strop then threw another good slider and Martin swung and missed for what should have been strike three, but because of the missed call, it was only strike two.

After that, Strop lost the strike zone.  He ended up walking Martin, then walked the next batter to force in a run and gave up a two-run single to Ichiro Suzuki to tie the game.

If the second pitch to Martin had been called a strike, the inning would have been over after the third pitch.  The Orioles would have gone on to win, 10-3, and the game would never have been remembered as being so dramatic as to be labeled an Orioles Classic.

I have to wonder, though - why would Martin, already down in the count 0-1, have been taking all the way on a fast ball down the middle?  Surely he didn't want to go down 0-2.

Unless Chavez read Wieters' sign better than Strop did, and somehow signaled Martin that the pitch was going to be a slider low and outside.

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On 1/11/2019 at 10:20 PM, WillyM said:

The Orioles' Sept. 6, 2012 game against the Yankees was featured on MASN's Orioles Classics the other night.  This was the game in which the Orioles took a 6-1 lead into the top of the eighth, only to have the Yankees score five times to tie it, 6-6.  Then the Orioles proceeded to score four in the bottom of the eighth for a dramatic 10-6 victory.

One pitch in particular left me wondering if there was some sign-stealing going on.

The Yankees had two runs home with two outs in the top of the eighth.  Eric Chavez was on second base, Curtis Granderson on first, and Russell Martin was the hitter.

Pedro Strop threw a good slider on the first pitch and Martin swung and missed for strike one.

Strop then fired a fast ball with plenty of steam on it, right down the middle.  Martin made no move to swing at it.  It should have been strike two.

But as Strop delivered the pitch, Matt Wieters, who had evidently called for another slider low and away, shifted to his right and began to move his glove over to where he expected the ball would arrive.  He tried to adjust at the last instant when he realized it was coming in straight, but the ball went off his mitt and his chest protector for a passed ball.

The plate ump, apparently distracted by Wieters' movement, called the pitch a ball.

Wieters went to the mound and conferred with Strop after the cross-up.  Strop then threw another good slider and Martin swung and missed for what should have been strike three, but because of the missed call, it was only strike two.

After that, Strop lost the strike zone.  He ended up walking Martin, then walked the next batter to force in a run and gave up a two-run single to Ichiro Suzuki to tie the game.

If the second pitch to Martin had been called a strike, the inning would have been over after the third pitch.  The Orioles would have gone on to win, 10-3, and the game would never have been remembered as being so dramatic as to be labeled an Orioles Classic.

I have to wonder, though - why would Martin, already down in the count 0-1, have been taking all the way on a fast ball down the middle?  Surely he didn't want to go down 0-2.

Unless Chavez read Wieters' sign better than Strop did, and somehow signaled Martin that the pitch was going to be a slider low and outside.

I wonder if Wieters had changed the signs earlier and Strop forgot for a minute what the signals were and ended up throwing the wrong pitch, which is why he got Wieter's earful. Or maybe, he forgot to use the runner on base signs.

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