The ace of the Yankees pitching staff worked six innings last night, giving up a run on four hits, walking two and striking out seven.
Yes, I'm calling Michael Pineda the ace. He has been their best pitcher by far in this young season and could be for both the remainder of the season and for years to come.
Will he be using pine tar in those remaining starts? Did he even use it last night? It seems to be a moot point. In spite of Joe Girardi making the situation seem dire when he feigned ignorance during his postgame presser, others who were on the field last night didn't think it was such a big deal. When asked about the alleged pine tar on Pineda's hand, Red Sox Manager John Farrell had this to say:
"Well, in the cold weather, you're trying to get a grip. I can't say it's uncommon that guys would look to create a little bit of a grip. Typically, you're not trying to be as blatant."
Clay Buccholz, last night's opposing starter, who himself has been similarly accused, said that a sticky substance like pine tar would help to improve a pitcher's control. He said, "It's either have a grip on a baseball and semi-know where it's going, or don't have a grip at all and get somebody hurt. How hard he was throwing early in the game, nobody wants to get hit by that, especially up around the head. So I don't think there'd be any organization that would want to do anything about it."
And, finally, there was David Oritz: "What happened? What was it?" he said. "Everybody uses pine tar in the league. It's not a big deal."
Exactly, Papi. It's not a big deal.