An anonymous Astros player told Sports Illustrated after the Series that Darvish, who works exclusively out of the stretch, tipped batters as to whether he was throwing a fastball or a slider/cutter by the way he regripped the ball when he brought it back into his glove.
The Astros pounded Darvish in his two starts for the Dodgers — he lasted only 1 2/3 innings in each of his two starts with a combined ERA of 21.60. He took the loss in both games — including Game 7 in Los Angeles. The story came out after the Series.
“Obviously the Astros are a great, strong team, so I don’t know to be honest if they knew my pitches,” Darvish said through an interpreter. “They could just simply be a good, strong team. And it’s (in part) me not being at the top level in the World Series.”
“He’s been going about his work normally,” Maddon said. “Honestly I don’t know how much of our work is being concerned with that so much. That’s overblown a bit. I don’t know to what extent (the Astros) had him and how that played into him not having a great performance.
“It’s an easy thing to talk about and it’s an easy finger to point the blame at.”
Maddon said he didn’t watch the games closely enough to know whether the velocity was normal or if the break on Darvish’s breaking pitches was consistent.
“I was not aware of that because I didn’t watch (for it),” he said. “At this point I’m not overly concerned. We’ve done our due diligence. We’re working on it. … From what I hear, there are other reasons why (the poor outings) may have occurred. We’re working on that and I think in an organic way he’s going to be able to conceal his pitches better right now.”