At the peak of their illegal sign-stealing program in 2017, the Astros may have been doing even more damage through mind games.
At least two pitchers have said that after making tough starts in Houston that season, they were contacted by members of the Astros to let them know they were tipping their pitches.
“It was tough to get through that game, and I really feel for people that didn’t get that next chance to prove themselves again,” starter Alex Cobb told Bleacher Report. “Because one bad outing gets your mind rolling. You start thinking, ‘Am I doing this, or am I doing that?’ You start tinkering. You start changing things up a little bit. Maybe my mechanics are off. And then you can really go down a bad path and create some bad habits. There’s a long line of things that can go wrong.
“As much joy as they had hitting the ball around the park, they robbed some people of a lot of [sleep].”
Cobb, at the time a starter for the Rays, got lit up by the Astros on July 31, 2017 at Minute Maid Park. He gave up eight runs on nine hits in three innings and afterward, an Astro told him he was tipping his pitches.
“He wouldn’t tell me…