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#pounditThursday, September 21, 2023

ESPN analyst says Randy Johnson tipped pitches his whole career

Randy Johnson throwing a ball

May 18, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Former Arizona Diamondback and Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson throws out the first pitch prior to the game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. Johnson was recognized for his perfect game 15 years ago to the day. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. may or may not have been tipping pitches during Game 3 of the World Series on Tuesday night. If he was, he would be in pretty good company.

All the talk of McCullers tipping pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies led to an old clip resurfacing in which ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez spoke about Randy Johnson doing the same. Perez was calling the 2018 College World Series at the time. He said he bumped into the Hall of Fame pitcher in Cooperstown, and Johnson asked Perez how Perez hit four home runs off of him during his career.

Perez said it was fairly simple — Johnson was tipping pitches. Perez explained to Johnson that the left-hander held his glove closed around the ball when he was about to throw a fastball. The glove was more open before Johnson threw a slider. Perez even took selfies with Johnson to demonstrate what he was talking about, and he showed them on the air. You can see the video below:

Johnson won 303 games and struck out 4,875 batters during his career. He relied mostly on two pitches — an explosive fastball and devastating slider. His stuff was so good that he probably could have announced what he was going to throw and most hitters still would not have made solid contact. Perez was an exception.

Most pitchers are like McCullers, not Johnson. If hitters figure something out like the Phillies appeared to in Game 3, it usually makes a huge difference.

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