Rays pitcher Matt Moore is tipping his pitches, and that could explain why the Yankees hit him harder than any team had in two months. Former All-Star first baseman and current ESPN analyst John Kruk figured out Moore’s tell and revealed it on “Baseball Tonight” Wednesday.
Moore’s tell is pretty simple: When he taps the ball in his glove as he’s getting ready to pitch, he throws a fastball. When he doesn’t tap the ball in his glove, he throws an off-speed pitch. This trend holds true whether Moore is pitching from the windup or stretch.
I went back to watch the first two innings of Moore’s start against the Yankees — one where he allowed 6 runs (4 earned) and 8 hits over 6.1 innings. He hadn’t allowed that many hits since a July 2 start against the Yankees when he gave up 9 knocks. The 6 runs were the most he allowed since May 6, and the 4 earned were the most he allowed since a July 7 loss to the Indians when he allowed 5 in 4.2 innings. In every pitch where the telecast showed Moore’s hands before the pitch, Kruk’s analysis held true.
Below you can see an image of Moore pulling the ball out of his glove as he prepares to tap, which would indicate a fastball is coming: