Last night at Fenway Park, John Lackey rebounded from a pair of rough starts, holding the New York Yankees to one run and seven hits, while striking out 11, Lackey did not walk a batter in eight strong innings, and the only runs he needed were scored in the first inning as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-1. Despite getting the win, there was more focus on the losing pitcher, Michael Pineda. The 22 year old pitcher somehow thought nobody would notice the massive pine tar smear under his right ear, which he used to doctor the ball. Well, the Red Sox noticed, and when home plate umpire Gerry Davis went out to the mound in the bottom of the second, he opined that Pineda would be hitting the showers early.
Now, it’s one thing for your opponent to notice it. It’s mind-boggling, though, that everybody on the Yankees missed it, especially in light of allegations that Pineda had pine tar smeared on the palm of his pitching hand the last time he faced the Red Sox, on April 10 at Yankee Stadium. Pineda’s blatant disregard of rule 8.02 (Using a foreign substance on the baseball is a violation of Major League Baseball) is certain to get him suspended this time for ten games (or two starts.)
NOTES: Various media outlets reported that Pineda was near tears in the clubhouse after that game. It is unclear whether he was emotional or crying due to the fact that his jersey had become affixed to his body because of the pine-tar and had to be ripped off…Pineda, who has limited English, was quoted as saying “Baseball been very, very good to me. Pine tar, not so much”…Pineda is a huge college basketball fan, and tries to watch as many UNC Tar Heel games as possible…While the young pitcher has certainly gotten himself into a sticky situation, hopefully he can learn from this and in the future represent the Pine-stripes with dignity and class.