1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Tampa Bay Rays seemingly knew Tyler Glasnow was tipping pitches, but there wasn’t much they could do

Manager Kevin Cash says that wasn’t the main problem for the four-run first inning in Game 5 of the ALDS. It was the Astros’ hitters.
Rays catcher Travis d'Arnaud and starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow walk back to the dugout after the Astros score four runs in the first inning of Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Oct. 12

ST. PETERSBURG — The Astros were, obviously, quite aware that Tyler Glasnow was tipping his pitches based on the position of his glove at the start of Thursday’s decisive American League Division Series game.

Five of their first six batters whacked hits to give them a 4-0 lead en route to a 6-1 win.

The Rays had a sense, too, but couldn’t really do anything about it. Manager Kevin Cash said Friday that it’s not something pitching coach Kyle Snyder can simply run to the mound and have Glasnow address.

“I think that’s kind of challenging to do that,” Cash said. “The last thing you want to do — these pitchers are so locked in, and Glas was certainly locked in — is go out there and ask him, give him the heads-up, and then he’s not focusing on what he should be focusing on and that’s getting hitters out and throwing strikes.”

Plus, Cash reiterated that he didn’t consider the pitch tipping — essentially whether Glasnow was throwing fastball or curve based on where his hands were set in his delivery — to be the root cause of the rough start.

”Tyler Glasnow is the not the only guy that’s ever done that,” Cash said. “There’s a lot of pitchers in baseball that do that. I still think you have to give a ton of credit to the Houston Astros. That lineup, what they did against those types of pitches, is really impressive. I understand the story, but how quickly that unfolded, give all the credit to Houston’s hitters.”

Glasnow realized “something was weird” but then worked a 1-2-3 second. He then retired the first two batters of the third before being taken out. When Glasnow looked back at the video, he said it was “pretty obvious” he was tipping in the first inning, but “it wasn’t as drastic” in the second.

Glasnow agreed that it’s a difficult thing to address in-game. “I’ve done it in starts prior and people don’t pick up on it, but a team like that (does),” he said.

Good riddance, in a respectful way

The Astros head to a tough showdown with the Yankees in the AL Championship Series that starts tonight, but they were glad to be done battling with the Rays, specifically the creative and effective way they ran their pitching staff, keeping hitters from getting a second look at the same guy.

“This is top to bottom probably the best pitching staff that we faced all year,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “And that’s not disrespecting anybody else in the league, that’s just how good they are and how they match their guys up in their favor. And in a short series, it’s scary as hell because they can get matchups and you have to beat their strength. And fortunately we were able to do that.”

The Astros did, hitting .242, launching six homers and scoring 19 runs.

“It’s hard to win games where you know the other side is going to do anything possible,” Hinch said. “If you take a step back and look at what they were willing to do to change things, like Blake Snell coming out of the bullpen twice. They had guys up every inning.

“We were spending just as much time looking on the TV monitor to see who was warming up and what they possibly were going to do than even watching what was going on in the field. That preparation is exhausting.”

Quote of the day

“I would make the argument that we were as fun a team to watch over 6½ months as any team in baseball.”

Rays manager Kevin Cash


• Cash said he doesn’t “anticipate” any changes to his coaching staff, unless someone gets hired away for another job. He suggested they have some staffers that will get called on. They lost Rocco Baldelli (hired as Twins manager) and Charlie Montoyo (Blue Jays) after last season.

• Second baseman Brandon Lowe was replaced in the starting lineup Thursday by Eric Sogard, who homered. Lowe had sustained a slight groin strain but was available to hit.

• The Rays didn’t do much in two games against Astros co-ace Gerrit Cole, but on Thursday they did snap his remarkable streak of consecutive innings with a strikeout at 73 — longest in the expansion era by 33! — when Willy Adames grounded out and Austin Meadows and Tommy Pham flied out in the third.


  1. Tampa Bay Rays' Carlos Pena hits a sixth-inning solo home run off New York Yankees pitcher Sidney Ponson in their baseball game at Yankee Stadium on July 9, 2008. KATHY WILLENS  |  AP
    Just the other day, Pena’s son asked him about being considered for the Hall.
  2. FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2019, file photo, Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter smiles as he speaks during a news conference in Miami. Derek Jeter is among 18 newcomers on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot, announced Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, and is likely to be an overwhelming choice to join former New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera in Cooperstown after the reliever last year became the first unanimous pick by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File) WILFREDO LEE  |  AP
    Former Rays Carlos Pena and Heath Bell are also among the 18 up for election for the first time.
  3. Long faces dominate some of the remaining Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans during the fourth quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Tampa. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What remaining game will Tampa Bay be favored to win?
  4. The cover of the book Grassroots Baseball: Where Legends Begin Courtesy Jean Fruth
    The 224-page book features a chapter on Tampa, and an essay by Hall of Famer Wade Boggs.
  5. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) delivers a pitch in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Oct. 10 in Houston. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Rays Tales: Team execs on Houston’s big problem, a base for winter acquisitions, trophy time and an upcoming owners meeting.
  6. Jameis Winston (3) points to fans after the Bucs' 2017 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Previewing Bucs-Saints, justice for the Astros, answers for the Lightning.
  7. FILE - In this July 24, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws to an Oakland Athletics batter during a baseball game in Houston. Verlander has been awarded his second AL Cy Young Award. MICHAEL WYKE  |  AP
    The Mets’ Jacob deGrom wins the NL award for the second straight year.
  8. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash talks with reporters in the dugout the day after clinching a playoff spot. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Former Ray Rocco Baldelli wins top honors after his first season with the Twins, Aaron Boone was second.
  9. Erik Neander, Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, addresses the media during a press conference at Tropicana Field Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Award came from a vote of team executives; Yankees Cashman was second.
  10. Flanked by his mother, Michelle Alonso, left, father Peter Alonso (blue shirt, standing), girlfriend Haley Walsh, right, and friends, New York Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso, 24, reacts as he finds out he has won the National League Rookie of the Year award on Monday at his home in Tampa.  Alonso, a Plant High graduate, made a grand entrance to the big leagues, hitting a major-league rookie and team-record 53 home runs for the Mets. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The easiest part of the day for the travel-weary first baseman may have been receiving the prestigious award.