In a bizarre case of a player's earlier reputation preceding itself, New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected in the second inning against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night at Fenway Park after the umpire found an illegal substance on his neck.
Red Sox manager John Farrell walked out to umpire Jerry Davis with two outs and 1-2 count to leadoff hitter Grady Sizemore. After inspecting Pineda's neck, Davis immediately ejected the right hander.
"When it's that obvious, something has got to be said," said Farrell. "Our awareness was heightened, given what we had seen in the past."
On April 10, Pineda had denied using pine tar in a game against the Red Sox despite photos and video showing a brown substance at the bottom of his palm. Pine tar is sticky, and therefore can help a pitcher get a better grip on the ball.
Pineda had allowed two earned runs in one and two-third innings, and received the loss in Boston's 5-1 victory over their American League East rival.
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“We’re scratching our head right now how that actually took place,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. “Clearly what took place in the second inning should not have taken place.”
Pineda is expected to receive a suspension for the incident.