(BOSTON, Mass.) — New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected in the second inning of his start against Boston on Wednesday night after being found with pine tar on his neck. The Red Sox would go on to win the game, 5-1 at Fenway Park.
The righty had trouble controlling his pitches in the first inning and when he returned for the second, was seen with a noticeable smear on his neck that was not previously there. Red Sox manager John Farrell then asked homeplate umpire Gerry Davis to inspect the pitcher and after finding the foreign substance, Davis ejected Pineda.
“I fully respect that on a cold night, you’re trying to get a grip,” said Farrell. “But when it’s that obvious, something has to be said.”
In his first start against Boston on April 10 at Yankee Stadium, Pineda was accused of having a foreign substance on his wrist. Pineda said after it was a combination of dirt and sweat he used to get a better grip of the ball. Following his ejection on Wednesday night, the 25-year old admitted to his mistake and apologized for his actions.
“I don’t think he’s trying to do anything to cheat, I think he’s trying to go out there and compete,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. “He used bad judgment tonight. He’ll admit to that.”
While there is no mandatory suspension for pitchers using a foreign substance, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Joel Peralta was forced to sit out eight games in 2012 for a similar incident. Major League Baseball has yet announce a decision, but both Girardi and Yankees GM Brian Cashman expect a suspension is coming.
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