Michael Pineda is in the midst of shutting out the Boston Red Sox tonight at Yankee Stadium. He had a no-hitter through the first four innings. All that anyone is wondering — on Twitter and the NESN broadcast booth anyway — is what’s that substance on the palm of the righty’s hand. It certaintly looks a little suspicious, like it could be pine tar. (Granted drawing conclusions from Twitter screengrabs isn’t always the smartest choice. Maybe we should call George Brett.)
It’s worth remembering that Clay Buchholz — pitching for the Red Sox tonight — was accused of doctoring the ball in a game last May. Jon Lester came under scrutiny during the World Series for a green substance on his glove that he says was rosin.
ESPN’s Buster Olney raises a good point here to consider before assembling torches and pitchforks. Pitchers have been using pine tar to get a better grip for a long time, it’s just rarely as blatant as it appear to be on Pineda’s hand tonight in the Bronx.
UPDATE: After the game Pineda denied it was pine tar on his hand. Joe Girardi didn’t want to address it.
And the Red Sox didn’t play up the issue either.