Thursday, April 24, 2014


The main story of tonight's game will always be remembered as the game where Michael Pineda put pine tar on his neck before coming out to pitch the second inning. Pineda using pine tar is a big deal, as it gives him an edge in colder weather on the grip of the baseball. Pitchers have been doctoring the baseball for years, but none have gone out of their way to make it so obvious. Michael Pineda already used pine tar against the Red Sox once at Yankee Stadium earlier this month, but nothing was made of it. Girardi and Rothschild likely confronted Pineda of this after the start but the conversation must not have registered for Pineda, who looks to be too immature to take the game of baseball seriously. He knows that using pine tar as a pitcher is not allowed, yet did so anyway behind the backs of his bosses. He started the game off awfully, taking 30 pitches to get out of the first inning with no pine tar. Between innings however, he loaded up a glob of pine tar smack on the side of his neck and with two outs in the second John Farrell was out of the dugout to have the umpires examine the substance. The home plate umpire confirmed that the substance on Pineda's neck was pine tar and immediately ejected him from the game. Pineda will also most definitely face a suspension. My guess is that it will be between five and ten games. In addition, the Yankees may impose a penalty on Pineda separate from what the league decides to do. He has to realize that using pine tar or any illegal substance is not acceptable and doing so will cost him even more in the future.

On a side note, John Lackey pitched like an ace against the Yankees tonight, going eight dominant innings allowing just one run on seven hits and striking out eleven batters. Tonight's start was a major difference from his last two starts where he couldn't get past the fifth inning without allowing a ton of runs. In his last start against the Yankees, he gave up a career high four home runs in under five innings of work as the Yankees romped Lackey. Tonight, he made them pay by pitching dominantly in the cold Boston night that largely surrounded the Pineda situation. Lackey won't even be remembered for his ace-like performance because of the Pineda story.

In tomorrow's rubber game, CC Sabathia will take on Felix Doubront as the Yankees try to take a second straight series from the Red Sox. Doubront was in trouble in his first start against the Yankees, but ended up having a decent pitching line. Nova was the winner in that game, which also featured a plethora of injuries and corky plays.

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