The Yankees lost 5-1 to the Red Sox on Wednesday. However, most people will remember the game more for Michael Pineda having to leave the game in the second inning because off his pine tar usage than the final score.
The above is video of Yankees starter Michael Pineda being ejected from the game after being caught obviously having pine tar on his neck in the second inning. TV cameras caught him in his previous start against the Red Sox, but that time it was on his palm and it was a smaller amount so the Red Sox did not make a big deal of it during the game.
It is obvious because he did not have the pine tar in the first inning and then in the second it was easy for John Farrell to see. Pineda definitely did not learn the lesson between when he was caught two weeks ago and Wednesday’s start that you have to be discreet about using it. It is common for pitchers to use pine tar or other “foreign substances” to get a grip on the ball, but most pitchers are able to make it so that it is not known by the other team or known by the umpires. Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild are also at fault because they should have made sure he knew that he had to be discreet about it before yesterday’s start and checked him between innings so that it would not be seen when he went out to the mound.
This is what Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski had to say about Pineda using pine tar: “I know as a hitter I want to get in there knowing the guy has a grip. Put it on your hat, put it on your pants, put it on your belt, put it on your glove, whatever you have to do. But at some point you can’t do it that blatantly.”
He will now likely have to miss at least one start or possibly two because he did not understand the rules of the game. Pineda had a 1.00 ERA with 15 strikeouts to only three walks coming into the game, but it is not known what type of pitcher he will be going forward. It seems it might not be a mirage because he pitched so well against the Blue Jays and Cubs in his other two starts, but we will have to see once he returns from his suspension.
At least Pineda owned up to his pine tar use after the game and apologized. “I know I made a mistake and I feel so sad,” Pineda said.
However, the Yankees already have to replace Ivan Nova spot in the rotation, since he has to have Tommy John surgery, and will now have to probably call up a pitcher from Triple-A Scranton to take Pineda spot while is suspended. Pineda is obviously not a pitcher who knows how to hide the pine tar or learn from a mistake.