Michael Pineda apparently didn’t get the message after the pine tar on his hand during a start last week against the Boston Red Sox was a major topic of discussion following the game. His response at the time was simply that it was dirt, and nothing more. Pineda had allowed just one earned run on four hits over six innings, while striking out seven and walking two. New York had won the game by a 4-1 final score, giving Pineda his first win as a member of the Yankees.
Boston never complained to the umpires during the game and subsequently, little more was said about the matter beginning the following day.
A week later and Pineda appears to be at it again. Making yet another start against the Red Sox, this time in Boston, they weren’t simply going to let him get away with it again. Manager John Farrell came out to approach the home plate umpire with an out in the 2nd inning. Umpires would examine Pineda’s hands and glove before discovering what appeared to be pine tar on the side of his neck, resulting in a swift ejection from the game.
Major League Baseball rules prevent a pitcher from applying any foreign substance to the ball while on the mound. Pineda is likely facing a suspension, but it remains to be seen how long it will be. In the minor leagues such an offense is automatically 10 games, but the Commissioner’s Office has the right to exercise some flexibility in instances such as this. News surrounding the length of time that New York will be without yet another pitcher will likely come down in the next day or two.