Drama unfolds in Subway Series opener as Mets pitcher ejected over sticky stuff before he pitches


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Before his outing even began, Drew Smith‘s night was abruptly cut short. And it added a semblance of intriguing drama to the Subway Series opener.

In an unexpected turn of events, Drew Smith, a reliever for the New York Mets, was ejected from Tuesday’s game against the New York Yankees in the seventh inning without even throwing a single pitch. Umpires conducted a check on Drew Smith’s hand for a sticky substance as he entered the field from the bullpen to relieve fellow pitcher Josh Walker.

The drama invaded the Subway Series opener

Following an initiative by crew chief Bill Miller, all four umpires in the game participated in the examination of Drew Smith’s hands during the Subway Series opener. After a thorough inspection, Miller made the decision to eject Smith, who expressed his disagreement and attempted to plead his case to Miller. Buck Showalter, the Mets’ manager, joined the conversation with Miller before accompanying Smith off the field and back to the Mets dugout.

With the score standing at 7-6 in favor of the Yankees, Drew Smith was set to be the Mets’ third reliever of the game. This came after starting pitcher Max Scherzer struggled, conceding six earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings in the Subway Series opener. However, John Curtiss took over the mound in the seventh inning and proceeded to pitch the following two innings without allowing any runs from the Yankees.

The Mets failed to add any more runs to the scoreboard, while the Yankees held on to secure a 7-6 win. As a consequence of using a foreign substance, Drew Smith now faces an automatic 10-game suspension. However, in his post-game comments, Smith maintained that the only substances on his hands were sweat and rosin.

Drew Smith expressed his surprise and disbelief at the umpires’ decision, explaining that he had not made any changes to his approach or the substances he uses on his hands. He stated that he had been using sweat and rosin like he always had and couldn’t understand why his hands were deemed excessively sticky.

Additionally, Drew Smith emphasized the need for greater consistency when it comes to enforcing the rules regarding sticky substances.

Drew Smith expressed his frustration with the perceived arbitrariness of the process, noting that it can vary from one officiating crew to another, which he believes is the main problem. He maintained his stance that his hands were not sticky, although the outcome of the examination suggested otherwise in the Subway Series opener.

Drew Smith’s ejection outraged the Mets

Drew Smith becomes the second Mets pitcher this year to face ejection due to a sticky substance violation, following in the footsteps of Scherzer, who was ejected and later suspended for 10 games in April after failing a sticky-substance inspection during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Among the players in the MLB, Yankees’ starter Domingo German is the other pitcher to receive a suspension this season for a similar infraction.

When discussing his ejection, Smith made a reference to Scherzer’s suspension after the Subway Series opener.

Drew Smith expressed his belief that a statement would be released by the officials, possibly similar to the one made about Max Scherzer’s “stickiest hands ever or whatnot.” He maintained that his hands were not sticky and mentioned that everyone checked them as he left the field, unsure if that moment was captured on camera.

Scherzer shared his perspective after the game, mentioning that he was one of the individuals who inspected Drew Smith’s hands and didn’t detect any stickiness. He advocated for his teammate and expressed his belief that it was unjust to eject a pitcher before they even have a chance to throw a pitch.

Scherzer questioned the basis for the ejection in the Subway Series opener, emphasizing that Smith hadn’t even thrown a pitch yet. He raised the point that it is impossible to determine if Drew Smith would have increased his spin rate or engaged in any illicit activity without concrete evidence. Scherzer highlighted the subjective nature of the decision, stating that it was solely based on the umpire’s perception rather than actual proof in the Subway Series opener.

Scherzer expressed concern about the current state of sticky-substance enforcement, describing it as a “dangerous matter.” In the third inning, he unintentionally hit Giancarlo Stanton on the elbow with a pitch during the Subway Series opener. Scherzer argued that if pitchers are unable to maintain a proper grip on the ball due to strict enforcement, there is a heightened risk of losing control and inadvertently hitting batters in the head.

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