White Sox pitcher Ryan Tepera implied that Houston may have been stealing signs in Games 1 and 2 of their AL Division Series after Chicago won the third game on Sunday night.
Houston were going for a sweep after they rolled to a pair of impressive victories at home. But they struck out 16 times in a 12-6 loss at Chicago after doing so a total of 16 times in the first two games.
Tepera, who worked two perfect innings on Sunday, noted the difference between the Astros at home and on the road.
“Yeah. It is what it is. They’ve obviously had a reputation of doing some sketchy stuff over there,” he said. “It’s just, we can say that it’s a little bit of a difference. I think you saw the swings and misses tonight compared to, you know, the first two games at Minute Maid. But that’s not really the story, you know? We come here to play. We’re going to compete. We’re not going to worry about what they’re going to do.
“All we have to do is execute pitches and they can’t hit them anyways.”
Astros manager Dusty Baker responded to the accusations on Monday afternoon. “They’re about the same runs, OPS and everything as we are – well, actually, better on the road than we are at home,” Baker said. “And I think they’re actually better at home than they are on the road.
“So, I don’t have much response to that other than I was listening to Eric Clapton this morning, and he had a song, ‘Before you accuse me, you need today to look at yourself.’ You know what I mean? That’s all I got to say.”
The Astros were disciplined by Major League Baseball after it found the team used electronics to steal signs during their run to the 2017 World Series title and again in the 2018 season.
MLB’s investigation found Houston used a video feed from a center-field camera to see and decode the opposing catcher’s signs during home games. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what pitch was coming, believing it would improve the batter’s odds of getting a hit.
Sign stealing is a legal and time-honored part of baseball as long as it is done with the naked eye – for example, by a baserunner standing on second. Using technology is prohibited. SOURCE