Substance on Michael Pineda’s hand overshadows strong outing

Michael Pineda
Michael Pineda earned his first win since his rookie 2011 campaign.
Credit: Getty Images

Jacoby Ellsbury’s first encounter with the Red Sox was an interesting enough storyline Thursday. But perhaps the more intriguing plot twist came out of a mysterious substance on Michael Pineda’s right hand.

Boston’s broadcast on NESN speculated it might have been pine tar but afterward the Red Sox said they hadn’t heard about it, Pineda said it was dirt to prevent sweating and manager Joe Girardi said he did not know anything either.

Substances aside, Pineda allowed a run and four hits while pitching into the seventh inning in a 4-1 victory for his first win in nearly three years.

It was a win Pineda waited for after spending the previous two seasons recovering from shoulder injuries. He also showcased the arsenal he displayed in his rookie season as Seattle’s No. 2 starter behind Felix Hernandez.

“I’m so happy, this is my first time pitching in Yankee Stadium, so I’m very excited,” Pineda said.

The combination of sliders, changeups and fastballs that occasionally peaked at 95 mph were enough to keep Boston off-balance, a fact evident by the seven swinging strikeouts and 15 swings and misses.

It was the same exact thing Derek Jeter saw last year while rehabbing at the minor league facility in Tampa and in the one time the Yankees faced him.

“He’s a legit power pitcher, a strikeout pitcher,” Jeter said. “When he throws like this he’s going to be tough.”

It was also a carbon copy of what the Yankees saw during spring training when Pineda won the fifth starter job.

“We’re really encouraged, and I said it in spring training, what I saw in spring training was a different guy — a guy that the ball is coming out well,” Girardi said. “We saw that tonight. He had command of the strike zone, threw a lot of first pitch strikes, got ahead of hitters and did a really good job.”

Pineda retired the first seven hitters and a had a no-hit bid until Xander Bogaerts led off the fifth with a line-drive single to left field. Working with a two-run lead at that point, Pineda ended the inning with strikeouts of Jackie Bradley Jr. and Jonathan Herrera.

The one-hitter lasted until two outs in the sixth when a cut fastball did not cut and turned into a double by David Ortiz off the top of the wall in right-center field.

Pineda’s response to that little bit of adversity was a 1-0 91-mph fastball to 2013 Yankee-killer Mike Napoli, resulting in a harmless fly ball to Ellsbury in center field.

When he wasn’t getting outs via contact, Pineda spent his night getting swings and misses. Similar to Masahiro Tanaka’s 10-strikeout game the night before, Pineda wound up fooling the Red Sox with sliders and fastballs for seven strikeouts all on swings and misses.

Pineda was at 84 pitches as he started the seventh and at that point the Yankee bullpen began heating up. Almost on cue, Pineda lost his shutout bid when Daniel Nava hit a 1-0 cutter into the second deck in right field.

The makeshift bullpen got the final nine outs with David Robertson injured and Shawn Kelley unavailable.

Cesar Cabral recorded the first two outs in the seventh by striking out A.J. Pierzynski and Bradley. David Phelps recorded the next seven outs, ending the eighth with a full-count strikeout of Ortiz with his knuckle curveball.

Besides being a strong initial impression for Pineda in his home debut, there was another first for a new Yankee. Rookie second baseman Dean Anna hit his first career home run, a towering drive into the second deck in right field in the sixth, and said he had over 100 texts and emails on his phone in response to a home run he dreamt of hitting in Wrigley Field.

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth pulls off epic photobomb

The selfie / photobomb has gone viral.

Local

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Entertainment

'Kim Kardashian: Hollywood' game easter eggs and cheats

"Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" is the hottest game of the moment. Here are its best easter eggs as well as some tips and tricks to speed your way to the top.

Television

Kacy Catanzaro credits mind over body in "American…

Kacy Catanzaro credits her victory to mental focus and upper body strength.

Entertainment

Q&A: The brains behind 'Kim Kardashian: Hollywood'

"Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" is the hottest game of the moment. We talked with Christopher Locke of Glu Canada to find out more about developing the game.

Movies

The 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' trailer is…

Watch 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' trailer.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Tech

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…