Call Kyle Tucker an innovator, or at least a person willing to take a chance when he sees it.
The Houston Astros outfielder tried to take advantage of New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino pausing to adjust or fix his PitchCom device on Thursday, but was thrown out stealing home on a last-second throw.
MLB introduced PitchCom this season to combat electronic sign-stealing and cut down on time used to relay signals from catcher to pitcher. The system works by the catcher pressing buttons on a wrist device, with the pitcher hearing the call through an ear piece. Severino was doing something with the earpiece on the mound when he noticed Tucker booking it for home.
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) June 30, 2022
That truly may be a first in MLB history. There's also a certain amount of irony in the Astros, whom you may remember being responsible for much of the sign-stealing discourse, trying and failing to take advantage of MLB's intended fix for the issue.
One could argue Tucker's move was cheap or unsportsmanlike, but if you're going to fiddle with an electronic device with runners on base and not call time, the consequences are on you.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters after the game that even though Severino didn't call timeout, he said Tucker being thrown out shows his pitcher didn't mishandle the situation.
"I think he showed he had the situation under control. Yeah, you can definitely call timeout and get some things set up, but I think Sevy was in command of the situation.
Tucker entered the game hitting .256/.354/.492 with 15 homers and 14 stolen bases in 15 attempts. He is now 14-for-16.
Despite losing that runner on third, the Astros would ultimately win 2-1, improving their record to 48-27. They lead the NL West by 11.5 games, behind only the Yankees (12.5 games) for the largest division lead in MLB.