Astros’ Tucker Tries To Steal Home Amid PitchCom Malfunction

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston’s Kyle Tucker was ejected Thursday night when he attempted to steal home while New York Yankees starter Luis Severino tinkered with his malfunctioning PitchCom device.

Alex Bregman was coming off a two-run brace to put Houston up 2-0 and Tucker was third with two outs in the third inning.

With Yuli Gurriel at bat, a frustrated Severino took off his cap and held the PitchCom speaker to his ear, seemingly unable to hear catcher Jose Trevino’s instructions.

“It was working fine, then it got noisy and…it didn’t work,” Severino said.

Tucker saw that Severino was distracted and tried to sneak into his house. Severino had the PitchCom earpiece in his right hand and had to maneuver quickly to get the baseball back into his throwing hand. He pitched home while still holding his cap, and his pitch narrowly beat Tucker and ended the inning.

“I saw him when he was halfway, but no one is faster than the ball,” Severino said.

Severino was asked to do the throw holding the device and his cap.

“I’m very good with my hands,” he laughs.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone loved the one-on-one game.

“Sevy didn’t panic and reacted in the right way and made the game,” he said.

Houston manager Dusty Baker thought it was a good chance for Tucker to take.

“If he throws that ball erratically, he’s safe,” Baker said. “I’m urging our guys to play aggressive and I thought he still had a chance to be safe. … It was a bold play that almost worked.

PitchCom’s digital pitch-calling devices, which transmit signals from catcher to pitcher, were introduced to the majors this season. The system was designed to end sign theft following the Astros scandal in 2017.

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