Rubbing hands together 'just tendencies' for Valdez

Phillies not worried about lefty’s mannerisms on the mound during dominant performance

October 31st, 2022

Framber Valdez had Twitter abuzz on Saturday night -- but it wasn't just because of his dominating performance in the Astros' 5-2 win over the Phillies in Game 2 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park.

Instead, some fans watching the game noticed that Valdez, who struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball, was frequently removing his glove and rubbing his hands together on the mound.

So did the Phillies see it happening during the game?

"Yeah, we did," said Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson. "And I just got it from [Phillies VP of baseball communications Kevin Gregg] -- it's all over Twitter. The umpires check these guys after almost every inning, and if there's something going on, MLB will take care of it."

Along with the frequent umpire checks, Thomson said his mind was also eased by the fact that the Phils saw Valdez doing similar things when he pitched against them on Oct. 5 in Houston. The Astros left-hander had 10 strikeouts over five scoreless innings in that outing.

As for Valdez, he said it's all about sticking to his routine.

"Nobody should think of it as anything, like, in the wrong way," Valdez said. "I do it out in the open. But 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 not think about the pitch that I'm going to throw. I've been doing it all season.

"Again, just tendencies that Dominicans do just to be able to stay loose. Just tendencies. The important thing, obviously, is to win. And we're winning -- obviously, winning legally. But, yeah, just random tendencies."