San Diego Padres pitcher Seth Lugo believes his rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, were stealing his signs in Monday’s 13-7 loss at Petco Park.
It was a rough outing for Lugo, who gave up eight earned runs — all in the fourth inning — on eight hits and two walks over 3.1 innings of work.
And it was in that fourth inning when Lugo and others were suspicious of the Dodgers on stealing signs, with the veteran starter calling it “bush league,” per The San Diego Union-Tribune.
However, Padres manager Bob Melvin didn’t have an issue with the matter.
“Every team does it,” he said. “Every team.”
The suspicion was that runners on second base in that fourth inning were relaying pitches to the batters based on how Lugo was gripping the ball. A runner was on second when Lugo let up five of his six hits that inning.
The Dodgers, though, deny doing anything of the sort.
Mookie Betts, who belted a grand slam off Lugo in the inning, said, “If that’s what he wants to think, sure. But nobody’s paying attention to that.”
“I couldn’t see anything,” Dodgers rookie center fielder James Outman added. “He was kind of hiding it with his glove.”
Of course, this isn’t an illegal move by the Dodgers, as Melvin points out. Every team is trying to find an advantage in an era of baseball when the Houston Astros’ scandal has heightened MLB’s attention to cheating.
While the Astros were using their infamous trash can system, there is nothing wrong with the Dodgers trying to relay pitches or signs to a batter, though some like Lugo believe it’s bush league to do so.
If anything, the accusations only further this long-standing NL West rivalry these two teams have.