Dodgers announcers call out Yoshinobu Yamamoto tipping pitches during debut

Los Angeles Dodgers v Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Dodgers v Texas Rangers / Masterpress/GettyImages

Yoshinobu Yamamoto's Dodger debut on Wednesday came a day after Shohei Ohtani's, setting the Dodgers up for a miraculous 1-2 punch featuring their billion-dollar offseason acquisitions. Both lived up to expectations; Ohtani smashed a homer in his third and final at-bat, and Yamamoto only allowed one hit over two innings while making a few Rangers batters look like they'd never seen a pitch come at them before.

The two innings both went by in the blink of an eye — in the first inning, Yamamoto made quick work of striking out Marcus Semien, Evan Carter managed to poke a single into shallow center field, then Wyatt Langford ended things on a double-play ball. In the second, Nathaniel Lowe whiffed at a nasty splitter to send him back to the dugout, Jonah Heim flew out, and Leody Taveras took a hopeless sweep at a pitch well below the zone to strike out.

All things considered, it was a masterful debut for a pitcher who's raised a few worries in his transition from NPB. However, there might've been a wrinkle. SportsNet LA's spring announcers noted after Yamamoto left the game that, from a center field camera's perspective, they'd been able to call his pitches before they left his hand. Yeesh.

Dodgers announcers noted Yoshinobu Yamamoto tipping pitches in debut

Yamamoto worked through Rangers batters so quickly that they may not have had the chance to register he was giving them hints at the time, but this is definitely a habit that the Dodgers will need to nip straight in the bud before his next appearance, and definitely before he's expected to open the season for them during the Seoul Series. The last thing we need is a Jomboy breakdown on Yamamoto tipping his pitches that will clue everyone and their mothers into every little detail.

We can also hope to chalk it up to nerves to a certain extent. There's a ton riding on Yamamoto to live up to the hype he built up for himself in Japan, as well as the number attached to the contract he signed with the Dodgers. But the vast majority of his pitches were thrown for strikes, and the Dodgers need to make sure that hitters aren't getting free peeks at balls they could take advantage of.