Tyler Anderson was four pitches into his start against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night when Los Angeles Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior curiously made a mound visit. Prior was not accompanied by a trainer, which effectively ruled out a potential injury.
Prior returned to the dugout after a conversation with Anderson, Will Smith and Dodgers infielders. But the umpires then gathered together before crew chief Alfonso Marquez went over to speak with Giants manager Gabe Kapler.
Marquez motioned down the first-base line, and play resumed without incident or explanation.
“Just a little gamesmanship,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after his team’s 5-1 win. “They were doing some relaying of the signs by the first base coach, so wanted to kind of nip that, get the coach in the box and let Tyler do his thing.”
Roberts confirmed Giants first-base coach Antoan Richardson was asked by umpires to return to the coaches’ box.
If Richardson had relayed signs for the brief stretch, it didn’t amount to anything for the Giants. Austin Slater was in a 2-2 count, though Slater struck out swinging on the first pitch after Richardson was instructed to move.
Stealing signs simply by reading a pitcher’s glove or fingers being put down by a catcher generally is not considered a violation of baseball’s unwritten rules. The Giants have developed a reputation of pushing the boundaries with those, which Roberts previously said he didn’t have issue with.
Anderson accepts responsibility if Giants stole signs
Anderson was unaware of the Giants’ purported attempt to steal signs, which he did not take umbrage with.
“If you expose yourself that happens,” Anderson said. “I think that’s part of the game. So they just thought maybe he was doing something there just to try to set them up a little bit.”
Anderson added his conversation with Prior was not to change signs but simply “clean up the glove a little bit so if they were trying, if it was opened up and they could see in it, just to try to clean that up.”
Anderson wound up completing six innings with just one run allowed.
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