It didn’t seem to give him a noticeable advantage — other than not plunking any Phillies — but internet sleuths believe Noah Syndergaard may have been using pine tar or something sticky to get a grip on the baseball Monday night in Philadelphia.
A video is circulating of Syndergaard digging his index and middle fingers into the heel of his glove before touching the ball during the Mets’ 7-6 win over the Phillies.
It was 50 degrees with a 24-mph wind at first pitch and only got colder, the kind of night when it can be difficult to get a good grip on the ball. Using a foreign substance on the ball is illegal, but it’s not much of a secret that some pitchers use sticky substances to enhance their grip.
It’s also a concept that one of Syndergaard’s biggest opponents on Monday supports.
“Absolutely. I’m all in favor of it,” Bryce Harper told Bleacher Report last year. “If there’s a guy out there that needs it, I’m all for it. I don’t want to get hit in the head or the face. So whatever they need out there, I’ll let them have it.”
Syndergaard’s fastball averaged 98.8 mph Monday, per Brooks Baseball, so making sure he knew where it was going was in the batters’ best interest. They still got to him for five runs on nine hits, three walks and nine strikeouts over five innings.
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