Radio Host: Pitchers Know Ball Is Juiced

Rob Manfred's comments about altered baseballs "sounded like an admission"

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
July 10, 2019 - 8:48 am
Charlie Blackmon Pete Alonso All-Star Game

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The AL continued its All-Star dominance, beating the NL, 4-3, in the 90th Midsummer Classic on Tuesday. The AL has won 19 of the last 22 All-Star games, as Cleveland received top marks as host.

“I think they come out of this looking great,” ESPN Radio Sportscaster Marc Kestecher said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I lived here in the ’90s when the Indians ruled this town. You couldn’t ask for better weather, it was a great game – last year we had 10 home runs in Washington and there was almost no pitching, and tonight it was the complete opposite. Real good game. I think everybody felt really well about the hosts.”

One night after a 312-homer Home Run Derby, the All-Star game featured just two long balls – a pair of solo shots by Charlie Blackmon and Joey Gallo. The uptick in home runs has been a point of contention for many pitchers this season.

“It sounds to me, at least listening to the commissioner’s response, that there was no intention on any altered balls, but clearly something has changed,” Kestecher said. “It almost sounded a little bit like an admission and they’re trying to figure it out and why it happened. I just thought it was interesting that a night after all that talk, we have this low-scoring, pitcher-dominated game. You’ve got the best pitchers in baseball going one inning after one inning, give me your best stuff, throw 95-to-100 – so I guess it’s no shock that 16 National League guys struck out. 

“But it sounds like they’re looking into (it),” Kestecher continued. “I will take them at their word, face value, that it was not intentional. But it sounded to me, at least reading between the lines, that something happened and these pitchers realize it.”

Click below to listen to Kestecher’s interview in its entirety.