HOUSTON -- Whether it was deliberate or not, Scott Feldman seemed to slow-play the Angels on Sunday, when he allowed one run and three hits in seven innings of the Houston Astros’ 7-4 victory in Minute Maid Park.
Several times, the Astros right-hander appeared to be in clear violation of a rule that requires a pitcher, when the bases are empty, to deliver his next pitch within 12 seconds of receiving the ball from the catcher after the previous pitch.
“Theoretically, yes, there is,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said when asked about the rule before Monday’s series finale against the Astros. “It’s very rarely enforced. ... When guys are on base, you can’t do anything about it. You can spend five minutes out there.”
Scioscia said home-plate umpire Chris Guccione “was aware” of how deliberate Feldman was working, “and he tried to keep it going as best he could,” Scioscia said of the umpire.
But if throwing off the rhythm of Angels hitters was Feldman’s motivation, it wasn’t the only factor in his slow pace.
“It seemed like there was a lot of miscommunication with the catcher,” Scioscia said. “We looked at the video, and he was definitely shaking off a lot of signs. If guys let it become a distraction, it could. But I don’t think it was an issue.”