Baseball fans are enjoying the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both teams are convinced that the baseballs used are different from the ones used in regular games. They have voiced their opinions that they are harder to manage because of the way they feel. The balls are described as being slick.

Reactions from pitchers

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated reported that the pitchers for both teams agree that there is a change in the baseballs. Verducci added that the condition of the balls is creating problems for the pitchers.

The slicker World Series balls are making it hard to throw a good slider. This is resulting in a higher home run rate.

Astros’ pitcher Justin Verlander said he has definitely noticed a difference, especially when he throws a slider. He indicated that it didn't feel the same, and the sliders he had been pitching end up becoming home runs.

Pitchers on both teams are suffering, especially Houston closer Ken Giles who threw sliders 47 percent of the time in the regular season, but his performance in the World Series has been really bad. His slider rate is noticeable. He has missed 75 percent of the time. Giles can no longer control his best pitch.

Even though Charlie Morton doesn't throw sliders, he confirmed that when the ball is slick, he and others can’t manage the baseball and throw it with the same aggressiveness.

Reactions from coaches

Astros pitching coach Brent Strom went so far as to say that the Los Angeles Dodgers won Game 4, 6-2 because of the balls. He said anyone can see and feel the difference because of the grain of the leather. He is wondering why those used in the World Series are different. He showed Sports Illustrated two baseballs side by side, and they did look and feel different.

Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said this problem is serious and suggested that the MLB needs to resolve the issue once and for all. He shared that officials have been talking for a while about getting balls like those used in Japan. However, nothing has been done about it.

No difference

Major League Baseball senior vice president of baseball operations, Peter Woodfork said the World Series balls were tested after they were made in Costa Rica. He concluded that the cowhide is used to make all the balls for regular and World Series games. He pointed out that the only difference is the stamping, which was changed from blue ink to gold ink.