Was Noah Syndergaard cheating during Monday night’s start against the Philadelphia Phillies?
Cameras caught the New York Mets ace rubbing the inside of his glove with two fingers.
That sure looks like something that’s outside the rule book.
Now, before we all get our pitchforks out, this was likely just pine tar. That’s something that most pitchers use — especially on cold nights. It’s used to help grip the ball. And generally, that’s considered more of a safety issue than anything done to doctor the ball.
That said, it is against the rules. Even if it is common, pitchers caught using pine tar have been disciplined in the past. We’ve seen it happen in recent years to guys like Michael Pineda and Will Smith. The difference is that those two guys were caught during the game. With Syndergaard all anyone can do is speculate as to what that substance was or even if it was anything. That will make disciplining him a lot harder.
It clearly didn’t do much do help Syndergaard’s game. In five innings, Syndergaard, who has been ice cold so far this year, allowed five runs (all earned) on nine hits with three walks. So, if Thor was trying to pick up an unfair competitive advantage, we’d suggest that he try other means.