The New York Mets preceded the Phillies into Dodger Stadium this week and they made an interesting accusation during their four-game series.
“I think they have a system that helps them get some signs and stuff,” Mets bench coach Jim Riggleman told the New York Post after the Dodgers put up nine runs on 17 hits in the first game of the series. “I don’t think it’s anything illegal, but I think they just do a good job of picking up things. If you do anything in your delivery that’s different, if your sequences are repetitive. We talked about it. Because they are taking some hefty cuts. They are not getting cheated. We made some pretty good pitches that they got. We’ll do better.”
Mets manager Mickey Callaway agreed with his bench coach.
“That’s what the Dodgers do,” Callaway said. “It appears they know what’s coming, but if you execute your pitches you can get them out and you have to throw the ball in to offset some of that.”
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was asked before the start of his team’s three-game series at Dodger Stadium if the Mets’ charges concerned him.
“I read the piece,” Kapler said. “Our game is not to get paranoid. We don’t get paranoid. We won’t get paranoid. Our job is to prepare for any possible situation and to make it difficult for anybody to gain any sort of advantage on us. Our clubhouse believes there are very good players on the other side of the field and that’s our main focus – getting out very good hitters and driving the ball off some very good pitchers.”
Kapler, who worked as the Dodgers’ director of player development before becoming the Phillies’ manager, refused to make any sort of accusations against his former employer.
“There have been rumors about a lot of other clubs as well,” Kapler said. “We take precaution by preparing our players to mix up signals. We take precaution in every possible way. We account for everything we can. We’re not going to do anything for this series than we have for any other series. I think it makes sense to put our focus on playing great baseball.”
The Mets lost three out of four to the Dodgers, who are a National League-best 22-7 at home this season.
Rookie reliever J.D. Hammer has only been in the big leagues a few days, but he has made a strong early impression on Kapler by throwing three perfect innings and striking out five batters.
“What we’ve seen so far is a very confident strike thrower and our first requirement is that when relievers with good stuff come to the big leagues that they get into the strike zone and allow their stuff to play,” Kapler said. “He’s going to be down [Friday]. He has pitched consecutive days and it was the first time he has had back-to-back outings. I would not hesitate, however, to put him into a high-leverage situation against a group of good hitters in this series.”