The Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night to even up their World Series match-up.
Unfortunately, the win did not come without controversy.
Astros pitcher Framber Valdez was a man possessed in this outing. The stat line speaks for itself: 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. Just monster stuff.
And the variety of the pitches was special.
Valdez primarily relied on the sinker and curveball, resulting in 13 swings and misses. He also threw 10 cutters. Those drew two swings and misses.
But after the game, that wasn’t what drew the most headlines.
What drew the most headlines on social media was video of what many believed showed Valdez cheating.
— Hard Rock Sportsbook (@HardRockSB) October 30, 2022
Now, the obvious counter to this claim is the umpire checks. One that Valdez himself was subject to.
Unfortunately, there is a problem with that defense. And it is exemplified by this video:
Lots of chatter here about Framber Valdez appearing to wipe something off his hands before getting checked by the umpires tonight.
Here’s a video after Valzez pitched the fifth inning. pic.twitter.com/Rk9WC05sI2
— Rob Tornoe (@RobTornoe) October 30, 2022
For what it’s worth, after the game, Valdez addressed the cheating rumors through an interpreter.
“Nobody should think it the wrong way,” he said, per Chandler Rome of The Houston Chronicle. “Those are just tendencies I do throughout the game, distracting the hitter from what I’m doing.”
The elephant in the room here, of course, is the Astros’ known history of cheating. There is a reason Nick Castellanos chose the taunt he ultimately chose on Friday.
This also isn’t the first cheating scandal that has emerged in the 2022 playoffs. It has just been that kind of year.
This most recent drama just adds to the intrigue.
One way or another, the league will take a closer look at this incident and decide what’s what.
Josh Allen and his girl just won Halloween. What a year for the Bills. https://t.co/MIMndzaMKX
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 29, 2022
Either way, the wronged parties involved will likely get the justice they deserve.
How will all this ultimately effect the momentum of this year’s World Series?
Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.