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Friday, November 15, 2019

Ex-Cy Young winner Eric Gagne helped Craig Kimbrel stop tipping his pitches

Craig Kimbrel Red Sox

Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel has had a shaky postseason, but it seems to be at least somewhat fixed thanks to some help from a former reliever.

Longtime closer Eric Gagne, a former member of the Red Sox and Cy Young Award winner, noticed Kimbrel tipping his pitches while watching Game 4 of the ALCS. Kimbrel struggled to get through that outing, giving up two hits and a run in two innings, with only an Andrew Benintendi dive preserving the lead.

Gagne reached out to Boston manager Alex Cora, a former teammate of his, and pointed out what he saw after that performance. Cora responded by putting Gagne in contact with Kimbrel, and the two sorted out his delivery ahead of Game 5.

“We knew he was tipping his pitches yesterday and that he was gonna be fine,” Cora said, via Chris Cotillo of MassLive. “We saw his hands today. Yesterday they were up, today they were down. He was tipping his pitches for two weeks.”

Sure enough, Kimbrel pitched a strong ninth in Game 5, walking one but allowing no hits while striking out two. If the Red Sox win the World Series, maybe Gagne deserves a replica ring for his contribution.



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