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Home » Basketball » What was Noah Syndergaard doing with his glove during Monday’s game?

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.

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 upward 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. It doesn’t appear that he 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.


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title: ‘NL: Walker Buehler, Dodgers’,
description: ‘

Buehler has yet to pitch a full season in the majors, but he could be the Dodgers’s ace. The former first-round pick was 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 137.1 innings last year; he finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.

Jerry Lai / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘AL: Jose Berrios, Twins’,
description: ‘

Berrios, who has put together solid back-to-back solid seasons for the Twins, might be ready to take the next step. He fanned 9.5 batters per nine innings last season.

Peter Aiken / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘NL: Madison Bumgarner, Giants’,
description: ‘

Freak injuries have ruined Bumgarner’s past two seasons, so perhaps he’ll have better luck in 2019. Although the lefty has never won the Cy Young Award, he has finished top 10 in the voting four times and has a 3.03 career ERA. He had six straight seasons of at least 200 innings pitched from 2011-16. But Bumgarner pitched only 240.2 innings combined the past two seasons.

Orlando Ramirez / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘AL: Carlos Carrasco, Indians’,
description: ‘

Few starting pitchers have been better than Carrasco over the past four seasons. During that time, he’s a combined 60-36 with a 3.40 ERA and 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings. The closest he has come to winning the Cy Young was fourth place in 2017.

Peter Aiken / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘NL: Patrick Corbin, Nationals’,
description: ‘

Corbin signed a six-year, $140 million contract with Washington this offseason after a breakout year in Arizona last year. Aided by his dominant slider, Corbin posted a 3.15 ERA and 246 strikeouts in 200 innings for the D’Backs. Washington could prove to be an even more favorable atmosphere.

Jasen Vinlove / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘AL: Gerrit Cole, Astros’,
description: ‘

Cole finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting with Pittsburgh in 2015; he finished fifth in his first year with Houston in 2018. There are signs he has taken his game to the next level. Cole had an AL-best 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings last year and a 2.88 ERA. He has thrown more breaking pitches since joining the Astros, with great results.

Aaron Doster / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘NL: Jacob deGrom, Mets’,
description: ‘

Perhaps Cy Young voters have come around on wins not being the most important measure of success for a pitcher. DeGrom earned the NL Cy Young last year despite going 10-9. He won the NL ERA title (1.70) and had 269 strikeouts in 217 innings. Mets fans are hoping for an encore.

Steve Mitchell / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘AL: Corey Kluber, Indians’,
description: ‘

Kluber is a two-time Cy Young Award winner, claiming the award in 2014 and 2017. Over the past five seasons, he’s 83-45 with a 2.85 ERA and 5.51 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 160 starts. He’s arguably MLB’s best pitcher over that period.

Denny Medley / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘NL: Kyle Freeland, Rockies’,
description: ‘

A Denver native, Freeland had a breakout 2018 season with his hometown team and finished fourth in the Cy Young voting. He went 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA in 33 starts, an amazing result given that he pitches home games at hitter-friendly Coors Field. Those results will be difficult to match, but the lefty won’t turn 26 until May 14, 2019.

Jim Young / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘AL: James Paxton, Yankees’,
description: ‘

The pressure is on Paxton to perform after he was acquired from Seattle in the offseason at a hefty cost. The lefty could be up to the challenge; his strikeout rate has consistently climbed in recent seasons, and he has a 3.52 ERA over the past three years. A ground-ball pitcher, he’s a good fit for Yankee Stadium, though it will certainly be a more difficult place to pitch than Seattle’s T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco Field).

Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘NL: Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks’,
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Greinke won the Cy Young 10 years ago with the Royals, and he finished second in the voting in 2015. While his first year with Arizona in 2016 didn’t go according to plan, Greinke has been extremely consistent over the past two years. In 2018, he posted a 3.21 ERA with 199 strikeouts in 207.2 innings.

Matt Kartozian / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘AL: David Price, Red Sox’,
description: ‘

Price, the 2012 AL Cy Young winner with Tampa Bay, is on the wrong side of 30 but is coming off a strong year after missing most of 2017 with arm trouble. He has posted a sub-4.00 ERA in all three seasons with Boston, and also had more than one strikeout per inning for the second straight year. It will still take a giant leap for the 33-year-old to win another Cy Young Award in 2019, however.

Paul Rutherford / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘NL: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers’,
description: ‘

Injuries and velocity loss have become the norm for Kershaw lately — he’s dealing with shoulder trouble this spring. That said, the three-time Cy Young winner has five ERA titles; he has posted a sub-3.00 ERA in 10 consecutive seasons. He last made 30 starts in 2015, but the lefty is just one year removed from a second-place finish in the Cy Young race.

Joe Camporeale / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘AL: Chris Sale, Red Sox’,
description: ‘

There were major concerns about Sale after he was shut down with shoulder trouble during the second half of last season, but he was able to rebound during the playoffs. Somehow, the hard-throwing lefty has never won a Cy Young Award, but Sale has finished in the top five in the voting in six consecutive seasons. His 2.11 ERA and 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings last year were career bests.

Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘NL: German Marquez, Rockies’,
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Marquez is emerging as an ace-level pitcher, and the prowess that he showed during the second half of 2018 can’t be understated. The right-hander posted a 2.61 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 93 innings over 14 starts for the Rockies. Projected over a full season, those numbers would almost certainly put him in Cy Young contention. 

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘AL: Luis Severino, Yankees’,
description: ‘

Severino will miss the start of the season with shoulder problems, but the Yankees hope it’s just a blip on the radar. He has been spectacular the past two years. In 2018, he was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 32 starts.

Butch Dill / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘NL: Aaron Nola, Phillies’,
description: ‘

Philadelphia made waves by adding to their offense in the offseason, but the Phillies need Nola to deliver to reach their lofty goals. He’s coming off a breakout campaign, going 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. He finished third in the 2018 Cy Young voting.

Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘AL: Blake Snell, Rays’,
description: ‘

Snell was the surprise AL Cy Young winner in 2018, leading the league in wins (21) and ERA (1.89). His 2.95 FIP indicated he’s an overachiever, but it’s not as if Snell’s success came out of nowhere considering his impressive play in the minors.

Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘NL: Max Scherzer, Nationals’,
description: ‘

Only Jacob deGrom stood in the way of Scherzer winning his third consecutive NL Cy Young Award with the Nationals. He has three for his career, including an AL Cy Young with the Tigers in 2013. Amazingly, Scherzer has led the league in innings pitched in two of the past three years and in strikeouts and WHIP the past three seasons.

Jasen Vinlove / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘AL: Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees’,
description: ‘

Tanaka hasn’t exactly been an innings-eater since arriving in the States, reaching 190 innings only once. Still, he has been mostly solid and rebounded from a sub-par 2017 season to post a 3.75 ERA last year. He has fanned more than one batter per inning in consecutive seasons.

Butch Dill / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘NL: Stephen Strasburg, Nationals’,
description: ‘

Strasburg is almost always dominant when he’s healthy, but his problem has been staying off the trainer’s table. He made only 22 starts last year and last made 30 starts in 2014. His 3.74 ERA last season was far off his career 3.14 mark, but he still fanned 10.8 batters per nine innings.

Steve Mitchell / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘AL: Justin Verlander, Astros’,
description: ‘

Verlander came up just short of winning his second Cy Young last year, finishing second in the voting behind Blake Snell. He posted a 2.52 ERA and led the AL with 290 strikeouts. His velocity has jumped late in his career, and he has an excellent curveball.

Steve Mitchell / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘NL: Noah Syndergaard, Mets’,
description: ‘

Few starting pitchers have thrown harder than Syndergaard, who has struggled to stay healthy the past two seasons. He made only seven starts in 2017 and 25 last season. The Mets are counting on a full season from him, and the Cy Young is certainly a reasonable expectation if that happens. “Thor” has a career 2.93 ERA and 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings through four major league seasons.

Steve Mitchell / USA Today Sports Images


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