DEREK LOWE’S EARLY-SEASON problems may have been caused in part by his body language. Curt Schilling was wondering why his fellow Boston Red Sex starter was having such a tough go of it.
Lowe was “flying open” as he delivered from the stretch. And, as he put it, “Hitters can see the ball from way back there. A hitter will tell you, if they can see the ball they can just stand there and take their pick.”
Reading pitchers is one of baseball’s hidden and very legal arts. And with technology the way it is today, it isn’t hard for a manager, coach or hitter to break down a video and reveal how a pitcher tips a pitch. Wave of a glove for a fastball, more white of the ball sneaking out of the glove for a breaking pitch.
“Where a guy holds his glove from one pitch to another is certainly a key,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
If a pitcher is telegraphing his offerings, it gives the hitter one more edge in that age-old battle between hurler and batter.
“One pitcher wags his tongue every time he throws a fastball,” said veteran Diamondbacks second baseman Roberto Alomar, mimicking the motion recently in the Arizona clubhouse. “He doesn’t do it when he throws his breaking ball. It happens every time.”