Our first order of business on Monday morning was to find out if Jacob deGrom is tipping pitches. In each of his past two starts, opposing hitters have looked oddly comfortable -- and since deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball, this activates our natural curiosity.
On the national telecast during Sunday night's loss in Atlanta, analyst Alex Rodriguez appeared to be hinting that deGrom was tipping, when he said after Josh Donaldson's fifth inning home run that it was "Almost like he knew what was coming -- 109 (exit) velocity on 2-2 fastball in is way too good off a guy like deGrom."
Checking with several veteran evaluators Monday, none saw any signs of tipping -- although one noted that A-Rod, along with Carlos Beltran, Adrian Beltre, Alex Cora and Shawn Green, was among the best in his generation at spotting it. It's possible that he noticed something that escaped other scouts, and even the Braves.
But that aside, tipping doesn't appear to be the issue.