Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Matt Moore: Tipping Pitches? A Brief Explanation

Okay, so Matt Moore went nuts for Durham last night, tying the team triple-A strikeout record by fanning 13 hitters in eight shutout innings. He allowed three hits and walked two. He was, by any measure, dominant. So if he was tipping his pitches, the Gwinnett Braves either didn't notice or Moore's stuff was so good that it didn't matter.

But I mentioned it a bit on Twitter during the Futures Game when I first thought I noticed it, and I took a closer look tonight. I'll have much more, including gif/video, tomorrow night when I'm able to access the archive, but I just mentioned to mention it here real quick (read: I want credit for noticing this if it's indeed happening :P).

If you saw the Futures Game or, you know Moore's delivery. He brings his hands over his head, then back down before breaking his left hand from his glove and delivering. What I noticed was that on fastballs, he has a tendency to sort of pump the ball into the glove before breaking his hands. It's sort of tough to explain (hence the video coming tomorrow), but I'll call it the glove-pound. It can range in how he does it, from the very subtle to sometimes more obvious (I think it's more obvious when he's trying to pump up the velocity, such as on two strikes).

So anyway, he does that on most of his fastballs. It's not a completely reliable tell -- he didn't do it on every single fastball -- but I don't think he once did the glove-pound and then delivered an off-speed pitch. On his curveball (or slider, whatever you want to call it) and change-up, his left hand doesn't move much if at all.

I'm not sure if a hitter would even be able to see this, but the centerfield angle is good for it, and luckily that's the angle used most often by the Durham TV feed. His stuff is insanely good, and Gwinnett took plenty of awkward swings, clearly fooled on whether a fastball or off-speed pitch comes, a credit to Moore's consistent arm slot and arm speed.

Semi-related, but I did a DRaysBay FanPost earlier this year on Alex Cobb's pitch tipping.


  1. I know we slow track our pitchers, but Moore is a special case. I doubt he will, but I hope we give him a legitamate shot at the rotation next spring.He may already be our best pitcher,and that includes both Price & Hellickson.

  2. Saw him in Montgomery for most home game starts and he looked better(more advanced with pitches) in AA than Price and Hellickson was.