Houston Astros pitcher Framber Valdez fired back at critics who accused him of cheating while he was on the mound in Game 2 of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Valdez pitched a gem in the 5-2 victory Saturday. He was seen rubbing his hands repeatedly and swapped his spikes and glove in the middle of the game. Even Phillies players mentioned just how good his curveball was in the win as he threw 42 of those pitches in his 6 1/3 innings of work.
However, the umpires checked him out repeatedly throughout the game and didn’t find anything. Valdez explained after the game that all the things he did that raised alarms were a part of his routine.
“Nobody should think of it as anything like in the wrong way. I do it out in the open,” Valdez said. “It’s all tendencies I do. I do it throughout the game, maybe distract the hitter a little bit from what I’m doing, Like maybe look at me, rubbing different things, and nothing about the pitch that I’m going to throw. I’ve been doing it all season.
“Normally have different spikes when I warm up and the ones that I go into the game. Today I decided to start the game with the ones I warmed up in. I had a long inning there and I was like, You know what, I’m going to change everything. I’m going to change my glove, my belt, my cleats. And those are just things that us Dominicans do, just some tendencies here and there.”
Phillies manager Rob Thomson didn’t have a problem.
“The umpires check these guys after almost every inning and if there’s something going on MLB will take care of it,” Thomson said. “We saw it the last time he started, too.”
Valdez struck out nine batters in the win, picking up his second victory of the postseason.
The series now heads to Philadelphia for Game 3. The matchup can be seen on FOX starting at 8:03 p.m. ET.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.