“Looks like a severe case of ants in the pants”
Mike Clevinger is one of the league’s more eccentric players. The San Diego Padres starter often wears bright-colored clothing to warmups just to grab extra attention. His signature flowing hair is also part of his look.
While pitching against the Arizona Diamondbacks today, Clevinger employed a new technique to grab attention and throw off hitters at the same time. Before delivering some of his pitches, Clevinger did a little dance, so to speak, before entering his windup.
Being a righty, Clevinger is required by rule to keep his right foot on the pitching mound’s rubber before throwing the pitch. Clevinger followed this rule but still worked around it by slightly lifting his heels in rotation before doing his windup’s leg kick.
The idea was to throw off hitters. Clearly, it worked. Clevinger pitched six innings against the Diamondbacks today, allowing just one hit and walking only one batter while not allowing any runs to score. He also struck out six batters.
It was Clevinger’s sixth start of the season since returning from an extended stay on the injured list. Considering the length of his time away from pitching, Clevinger’s done quite well. He holds a 3.52 earned-run average with a 1.36 WHIP over 23.2 innings this season.
Clevinger recieved mixed reviews for his unorthodox windup today. Some users called it disrespectful toward hitters, while others wondered how it didn’t count as a balk.
Some users just thought it looked straight-up funny.
Here’s some of the best Twitter reactions to Clevinger’s strange windup today.
San Diego Padres pitcher Mike Clevinger had the most unusual windup today versus the Diamondbacks
For fans unaware of the MLB’s balk rules, pitchers cannot be charged with a balk unless there are runners on base. Take note that Clevinger didn’t use this windup all game today. He only used it without runners on base.
It’s almost like Clevinger just couldn’t stand still today.
If fans found Clevinger’s movement hard to watch, it’s no wonder why the Diamondbacks could only manage to get one hit off of him today.
Clevinger’s antsy windup is nothing new. He’s been doing it since 2019.
Clevinger’s extended windup routine could become complicated if the league introduces a pitch clock in the future.
Surprisingly, Diamondbacks hitters didn’t call time too often today when Clevinger was in the middle of his windup.
The Padres took the game 4-0, but Mike Clevinger wasn’t credited with the win. His team didn’t score runs until Nick Martinez pitched in his relief.
Edited by Jodi Whisenhunt