Paxton lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and a run over that span, and that line would've been worse had reliever Chad Green not been able to strand a pair of Paxton's runners in the third. Throughout Paxton's 51 pitch outing, the Astros seemed to be curiously locked in on his breaking stuff in particular. Anecdotal evidence also wasn't hard to find:
In those early innings, Astro hitters could also be seen talking about Paxton's delivery in the dugout. And as our own R.J. Anderson pointed out before Game 2,.
So there's indeed a history there, and this of course comes not long after Tyler Glasnow says he tipped his pitches in the Astros' ALDS Game 5 win over the Rays. Even accomplished and otherwise excellent major-league starters struggle with slight mechanical tics that signal what's coming to the opposing hitter. As long as it's unadorned human perception that allows batters to pick up on tipping and even figure out signs, there's nothing untoward about it -- time-tested gamesmanship. So even if true, none of this undermines the Astros' work in Game 2.
For his part, Yankees manager Aaron Boone in his postgame press conference denied that tipping concerns had anything to do with Paxton's struggles or his early hook of his lefty starter. "I mean, I don't think so," Boone said. "We're pretty vigilant on that stuff."
No doubt, they'll be especially vigilant moving forward in this series.