What was Noah Syndergaard doing with his glove during Monday’s game?
Noah Syndergaard is facing allegations of cheating due to a mysterious move made by the New York Mets pitcher during Monday night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
During the fifth inning, Syndergaard appeared to take a swipe near the heel of his glove with two fingers from his pitching hand before applying a grip on the baseball.
Does anyone see what I see here? What’s up with Noah’s 2 fingers in the glove during the 5th inning 1 out? #NYMvsPHI pic.twitter.com/ZaZvKclBez— Joni Caballero (@JoniCaballero6) April 16, 2019
While no one from the Phillies appears to have raised any objection to Syndergaard’s actions, footage of him digging his index and middle fingers into his glove has given rise to accusations on social media that he may have been using pine tar or another sticky substance.
MLB’s 2019 rulebook states in section 6.02(c)(4): “The pitcher shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball.” Further, 6.02(c)(7) adds, “The pitcher shall not have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance.”
It merits noting that it was 50 degrees at Citizens Bank Park at the start of the game. Wind gusts upwards of 24 mph during the game only made for a chillier evening. While that obviously would not justify Syndergaard using some kind of foreign substance on the ball, it’s not like it’s a well-kept secret that pitchers have been known to engage in such antics from time to time.
For what it’s worth, Syndergaard worked five innings in Monday’s 7-6 victory, giving up five earned runs on nine hits while striking out nine and walking three. So, it doesn’t appear that Syndergaard enjoyed any outsized advantage even if something untoward was going on.
Syndergaard’s peculiar glove swipe likely will amount to much ado about nothing given the lack of protest by the Phillies. It’s nevertheless interesting how in today’s social media age such a seemingly innocuous act — or arguably nefarious depending on one’s perspective — can attract so much attention thanks to the ease in which purported video evidence can be disseminated.