San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove did not take kindly to a foreign substance check that included an umpire rubbing his ears.
New York Mets manager Buck Showalter called for a foreign substance check of Musgrove, who appeared to have a slippery oil behind his ear. However, the umpires searched Musgrove’s glove, hat and even body parts to ensure his filthy stuff on Sunday evening was completely legal.
First PitchCom broke, now this:
Showalter and the Mets did their due diligence, ensuring that Musgrove wasn’t doing anything illegal on the mound. Through five innings of action at the time, he had given up no runs, and was clearly in the opposing team’s head.
Once the foreign substance check was completed, Musgrove struck out the very next batter. He motioned to the Mets dugout in response.
Joe Musgrove had amazing response for Mets
Musgrove had a chance to cap San Diego’s incredible Wild Card series performance with a dominant outing on Sunday night, and he’s done just that. Ear check or not, the Padres are well on their way to an NLDS appearance, where the Los Angeles Dodgers would await them, should the score hold.
MLB foreign substance checks
Throughout the 2022 season, umpires have been checking pitchers for foreign substances:
“Major League Baseball, wary of players finding new ways to add additional tack to the baseball, will continue to routinely inspect pitchers for foreign substances during the 2022 season,” per ESPN.
What Showalter did was different, however, as he made it apparent to the umpires that Musgrove had a substance behind his ear. When this occurred, he was essentially challenging their viewpoint, as locating illegal substances is part of an umpire’s job description to begin with.
Win or lose, Musgrove’s ear check game will now go down as one of the more infamous moments in postseason history.