Last week a mini-controversy arose from the ashes of Game 1 of the World Series last week. It centered on a weird-looking green substance some people on the Internet noticed inside the webbing of Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester’s glove. Lester said the next day it was rosin, which he always uses it and he wouldn’t alter his routine — mainly because he works up a big sweat — and needs the substance in order to get a proper grip on the ball.
Monday night in Game 5 the substance from Game 1 looks to be cleared away from the glove.
This is what Lester said last week when asked about it:
“The rosin bag’s back there for a reason, and I just so happen to put it in my glove. That seems to be the best system for me that works. I’m going to continue to do it. That’s really it.”
Conspiracy theorists probably won’t believe Lester, but otherwise you’d have to take him at his word. There is a big difference between using something like rosin to grip a ball or trying to rub Vaseline on it to get more break on pitches.
Independent of whatever is inside his glove, Lester was sharp again in Game 5, allowing only four hits with seven strikeouts thanks to a cutter the Cardinals couldn’t figure out. One of those hits was a solo homer by Matt Holliday that tied the game. in the fourth. Lester left the game up 3-1 with a runner on second with two outs in the eighth. Koji Uehara closed out the game with a four-out save the Sox took a 3-2 Series lead back to Boston.
Something to remember: the Cardinals have been vulnerable vs. lefties all year, batting only .238 vs. southpaws during the season. St. Louis was batting just .218 in 15 postseason games prior to Monday night, too.
Another big change between Game 1 and Game 5 is temperature. It was a brisk 50 degrees in Boston last week. Joe Buck remarked it was warm in St. Louis, with the umpires in shirtsleeves. First pitch temperature was 61 degrees Monday.
If you were still hung up on “Glove Gate” you needed eagle eyes to try to get a peek inside Lester’s glove Monday night since FOX camera’s barely focused on it.
Checking the inside of a pitcher’s glove isn’t something the typical viewer keeps an eye on. That’s probably why the rosin/green goo on the glove didn’t become an issue until the next morning when a Cardinals minor leaguer mentioned it on Twitter and it blew up. Monday night, actively trying to look at Lester’s gloves webbing proved how tough it would be to pick up on it unless you knew you were looking for it.
Draw your own conclusions.
Related: Jon Lester Says Substance in Glove was “Just Rosin”
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