Eric Gagne's advice helps Kimbrel stop tipping pitches

NBC Sports Boston Report
NBC Sports Boston

Raise your hand if you thought Eric Gagne would be relevant in 2018.

Put you're hand down, you're lying.

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Well, turns out he is. The Cy Young award-winning reliever, who retired in 2008, is a good friend of Red Sox manager Alex Cora. They played together for seven seasons, six on the Dodgers, when Gagne was one of the top closers in the game, and one with the Red Sox.

Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reported that Gagne texted Cora after Kimbrel's rough Game 4 outing, telling the Sox manager that Kimbrel was tipping his pitches. Cora asked Gagne to text Kimbrel, and the two exchanged texts.

"I've been battling it for a while and couldn't find a good place to not hide it," Kimbrel said after Game 5. "But it was good to throw some pitches and have them not know what was coming."

The Red Sox video staff and pitching coach Dana LeVangie have also helped Kimbrel make minor adjustments, particularly lowering his hands.

The advice paid off. Kimbrel looked as dominant as he has in a long time in Game 5, going a scoreless inning with two strikeouts to send Boston to the World Series. 

Maybe this advice serves as a type of makeup call from Gagne. His last contribution to the Red Sox? A 6.75 ERA in 2007, his lone season in Boston.

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