BOSTON -- There was no shortage of questions worth asking after Michael Pineda was caught with pine tar on his neck and ejected from the Yankees' 5-1 loss to the Red Sox in the second inning on Wednesday night.
What was he thinking? Why there?
Here's one more: How'd he even get out to the mound like that?
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the game that he hadn't seen anything on Pineda's neck before he left the dugout for the second inning. He didn't even see what was on Pineda's neck after the righty was ejected.
"I did not. I never saw it on Michael," Girardi said. "I didn't look at Michael. [Crew chief] Gerry [Davis] told me he clearly had something on his neck. I said OK, I got Phelpsy (David Phelps) ready, and I worried about trying to keep the score the same."
If he didn't see Pineda applying the pine tar, and he didn't see the pine tar on Pineda's neck during the bottom of the second inning, was there anything else he could've done to prevent the situation?
Girardi was asked if he had spoken to Pineda after his April 10 start against the Red Sox, after which he was accused of blatantly smearing pine tar onto the palm of his throwing hand.
"Obviously we have discussions with all our pitchers and things that they're dealing with," Girardi said. "That's what we do. We don't ignore situations. We handle situations. It's something Michael chose to do after the first inning. He had a hard time gripping the baseball, conditions are not conducive to gripping a baseball. Unknown to us he put it on and went out there."
Girardi was very sympathetic to his 25-year-old starter. Although Pineda has now put the Yankees in the precarious position of being without another starter for a period of time (depending on how many games he will be suspended), the manager insisted after the game that Pineda's ejection and suspension was just a "bump in the road."
"Ah, well, I mean it's a young kid," Girardi said. "I don't think he's trying to do anything to cheat. I think he's trying to go out there to compete. It's unfortunate it happened, but as I said we'll deal with it, we'll get through this. It's a little bump in the road and we'll be alright."