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Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Ryan Tepera suggested the Houston Astros may have been stealing signs in the first two games of their American League Division Series matchup.
“Yeah. It is what it is. They’ve obviously had a reputation of doing some sketchy stuff over there,” Tepera told reporters, comparing Houston’s offensive performance at home versus the road. “It’s just, we can say that it’s a little bit of a difference. I think you saw the swings and misses tonight compared to, you know, the first two games at Minute Maid. But that’s not really the story, you know? We come here to play. We’re going to compete. We’re not going to worry about what they’re going to do.
“All we have to do is execute pitches and they can’t hit them anyways.”
The Astros were infamously disciplined ahead of the 2020 season for using video to steal signs and relay information to batters during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Houston won the World Series in 2017.
The controversy led to the departure of manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow along with Astros players being criticized by fans and fellow players.
While Tepera is correct that the Astros have a history of malfeasance, it’s hard to find evidence in this case. Houston still scored six runs in Game 3’s 12-6 loss, which is as many as the AL West champs put up in their Game 1 victory.
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“Those are heavy accusations. We’re about the same, runs, OPS… actually better on the road than we are at home. They’re actually at better at home than they are on the road. I don’t have much response to that,” Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters Monday.
It was the White Sox who actually benefited most from being at home, scoring 12 runs after putting up only five in the first two games.