White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech had a rough outing in his season debut against the Giants. In that game, the Chicago starter allowed seven earned runs over 4.2 innings of work.
The result was a loss as the Sox fell to San Francisco by a score of 12-3. A week after that miserable performance, the potential reason for the poor display has been identified.
Kopech appeared to be tipping his pitches to Giants hitters.
Those batters keyed in on a simple detail during the pitcher’s wind-up as they successfully guessed which pitch was coming next. And it worked to perfection.
At one point in the game, San Francisco hit four home runs over a stretch of five batters, which eventually led to Kopech’s removal from the mound.
Popular baseball social media account Jomboy pointed out the tip, posting a breakdown on Twitter.
The Giants figured out that Kopech was tipping his pitches and hit four homers in one inning, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/oLi5dZE7zI
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) April 10, 2023
The key was focused on Michael Kopech’s glove. It appeared that his grip on the ball inside his mitt was cluing batters in on the next pitch.
When gripping the ball for a fastball or changeup, his glove stayed low and close to the forearm of his pitching hand. When preparing for a curveball, however, his glove would flare up a bit.
That minute detail was apparently a dead giveaway for hitters at the dish, because they absolutely teed off on the pitcher after noticing the tip.
In the fifth inning, alone, Michael Conforto, Thairo Estrada, Mike Yastrzemski, and David Villar left the yard as they got their team out in front, 7-0.
Joc Pedersen also hit a homer off of Michael Kopech in the second inning, though that might’ve been before the tip was known.
Fans were quick to post reactions online.
One person wrote, “It’s times like this that I realize there is 100 lifetimes of difference between me and the MLB.”
Another follower said, “Wow that is crazy. Man I love baseball.”
Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like the White Sox catcher was picking up on the tip, leading to Kopech’s early exit from action. Luckily, it appears he’s cleaned his delivery up as he recently threw six innings of one-run ball in a loss to the Pirates.