The last time Michael Pineda took the mound against the Red Sox, it was at Yankee Stadium–and it was a rather controversial start. Pineda appeared to have pine tar on his wrist for half the game before wiping it off before the fifth inning while propelling the Yankees to a victory.The controversy was an odd one; it started in the Boston Red Sox NESN booth, went to Twitter, traveled through the media, and then went to Pineda who claimed he had dirt on his hand.
This series is much different than the last Yankees/Red Sox series: for one thing, it’s not at Yankee Stadium; it’s at Fenway Park. Pineda will have to prove he can pitch in a huge spotlight away from home, something Masahiro Tanaka proved yesterday when he beat the Red Sox 9-3 to earn his third win of the season.
Pineda enters tonight’s contest with a 1.00 ERA (yes, that’s his actual ERA), stifling hitters with his fastball and fooling hitters with his devastating slider. He’s matched Tanaka pitch for pitch since the season started…but this is a new test for Pineda. Red Sox fans will heckle him for the pine tar incident–it will be interesting to see if he can block out the noise, and shut down the Red Sox lineup.