CBS DETROIT – Detroit Tigers star pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer had both been struggling for weeks even before Verlander gave up seven runs Monday and Scherzer gave up 10 runs Tuesday.

Everyone – manager Brad Ausmus, his coaching staff, the players and even the team’s fans – has searched high and low for answers. One fan believed he noticed something that might be contributing to the pitching staff’s problems.

A reader of NBC Sports commented on a story about the Tigers and  suggested that catcher Alex Avila has been tipping pitches. The fan said he observed that Avila usually smacked his glove once before calling a fastball and twice before calling an off-speed pitch. The fan wrote that by watching how Avila smacked his glove, he could predict the next pitch with 85 percent accuracy.

Avila told reporters Friday, before the team started its road series with Cleveland, that the theory is bogus.

Avila and the Tigers will try to build Friday on the little bit of momentum they started Thursday by snapping a three-game losing streak.



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