Justin Verlander among World Series pitchers who think ball feels different

8:43 PM ET

HOUSTON — Justin Verlander threw 17 sliders in Game 2 of the World Series last Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. Only one of those pitches produced a swing-and-miss, leading the Houston Astros ace to suspect something might be amiss.

Verlander isn’t alone.

A new controversy gripped baseball Sunday when Sports Illustrated published a report in which players and coaches from both the Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers said they believe that the World Series balls are slicker than those used during the regular season. The texture of the balls has made it more difficult for pitchers to get the proper grip when throwing certain pitches, particularly the slider, the players and coaches contended.