The Joe Musgrove ear check caused quite a stir Sunday night during the sixth inning of the win-or-go-home Game 3 between the Mets and Padres.
Mets manager Buck Showalter had umpires check Musgrove for possibly using a “sticky substance,” particularly his glistening ears. But after the umps checked it was determined there was no wrongdoing on the Padres pitcher’s part.
That left many more questions being asked by fans, particularly about what, if anything, could possibly be on Musgrove’s ears?
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Andrew McCutchen offered some behind-the-scenes insight as to what may have really been going on.
McCutchen tweeted that many pitchers put Red Hot — a type of ointment — on their ears as a way to stay locked in during games because it burns so much.
The Brewers outfielder said that this ointment is by no means sticky and he does not understand why pitchers think it helps, but they do it anyway.
It certainly could explain why Musgrove’s ears were glistening, resulting in many on social media speculating before Showalter ultimately had him checked.
It does not, however, explain why Musgrove’s spin rate was higher than his average on Sunday night. Then again, those are just averages so he could just be having an above average day.
Whatever the case, Musgrove showed up when the Padres needed him the most — becoming the first pitcher to throw at least seven innings and allow fewer than two hits in a winner-take-all game — and it certainly made for the first big controversy of the MLB postseason.
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