No shock to Roenicke if Garza is tipping pitches

Manager says it would be nothing new if hitters knew what was coming

No shock to Roenicke if Garza is tipping pitches

MILWAUKEE -- Was Matt Garza's hunch he was tipping pitches to Rockies batters on Tuesday correct? Manager Ron Roenicke didn't see anything, but it would not surprise him at all if Garza's guess was right.

"We see it all the time," Roenicke said.

First things first: Roenicke noted that the Rockies are an exceptional offense, and that many of the pitches they whacked against Garza and Kyle Lohse in the first two games of the regular season were misplaced up in the strike zone.

But one sequence stood out to Garza. In the fourth inning, when five of the first six Rockies reached on hits, including three doubles, Garza was ahead of left fielder Corey Dickerson, 0-2. As Garza began his motion on the next pitch, Dickerson scooted forward in the batter's box, as if he knew an offspeed pitch was coming.

Indeed, it was a curveball in the dirt.

"I would say he had a pretty good idea offspeed was coming," Roenicke said.

How do a pitcher and a team distinguish knowing what's coming from making an educated guess? After all, hitters these days have access to a tremendous wealth of data about pitchers' tendencies.

"That's what you have to try to determine," said Roenicke, who suggested Garza may be prone to tipping. "I was telling guys the other day -- there was a pitcher who was tipping pitches in Spring Training and we were talking about it. I [told them] remember when I came up as a rookie and faced Nolan Ryan, and he was tipping every single pitch. I think he still threw, like, a two-hitter. It didn't matter too much.

"Teams do it. Some teams do it a lot more. Usually the veteran teams like to do it, the guys who have played together a long time like to do it. There's lots of guys in your lineup that don't want to know what's coming, and then there's guys who have done it for a long time and think it's a huge advantage, which it is. But it still happens. We see it all the time."

Garza's next scheduled start is at Busch Stadium on Monday in the Cardinals' home opener.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.