HOUSTON — Houston’s Kyle Tucker was kicked out Thursday night when he tried to steal home while New York Yankees starter Luis Severino was tinkering with his malfunctioning PitchCom device.
Alex Bregman had just hit a two-run double to give Houston a 2-0 lead and Tucker was third with two outs in the third inning.
With Yuli Gurriel at bat, a frustrated Severino removed his cap and held the PitchCom speaker to his ear, apparently unable to hear catcher Jose Trevino’s instructions.
“It worked well and then it got loud and… it didn’t work,” Severino said.
Tucker saw that Severino was distracted and tried to sneak home. Severino had the PitchCom earpiece in his right hand and had to maneuver quickly to get the baseball back in his throwing hand. He threw home while still holding his cap, and his throw narrowly beat Tucker to end the inning.
“I saw him when he was about halfway but nobody is faster than the ball,” said Severino.
Severino was asked to make the throw while holding the tackle and his cap.
“I’m very good with my hands,” he said, laughing.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone gushed about the heads-up game.
“Sevy didn’t panic and reacted correctly and made the play,” he said.
Houston’s manager, Dusty Baker, thought it was a good shot for Tucker.
“If he throws that ball by mistake in any way, he’s safe,” Baker said. “I challenge our boys to play aggressively and I thought he still had a chance to be safe. … That was a brave game that almost worked.”
PitchCom digital pitch-calling devices, which transmit signals from catcher to pitcher, were introduced to the majors this season. The system was designed to stop sign theft following the Astros scandal of 2017.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34175548/houston-astros-kyle-tucker-tries-steal-home-amid-pitchcom-malfunction Houston Astros’ Kyle Tucker tries to steal home amid PitchCom malfunction