Before San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove could throw a pitch at the bottom of the sixth inning during Sunday's game against the New York Mets, he had to get his ears checked for 'illegal substances'.
Checking a pitcher's hands, hat, or glove between innings for sticky substances or foreign objects is typical to prevent spitballing. But ear-checking is a new one.
The request was made by Mets' manager Buck Showalter who believed Musgrove's ears looked oddly shiny during Game 3 of the wild-card round.
Later on, Showalter said he requested the check because “spin rates and different things” jumped out at him.
According to MLB.com, Musgrove's fastball during the game was 94 mph, slightly higher than his season average of 92.9 mph.
Showalter received backlash for suggesting Musgrove was using illegal substances to throw faster balls. However, he defended his decision saying, "I'm going to do what's best for our players and the New York Mets. I felt like that was best for us right now. There's some pretty obvious reasons why it was necessary.”
\u201cCan\u2019t believe what was behind Musgrove\u2019s ear\u201d