CINCINNATI — Clarke Schmidt became the latest New York Yankees starting pitcher to be on the receiving end of a foreign substance check, but was allowed to continue in the game — a decision that was met with disapproval from Cincinnati’s David Bell and ultimately led to the Reds manager’s ejection Friday night.
With New York leading 1-0 before the bottom half of the fifth inning, the umpires administered a foreign substance check on Schmidt.
“When I went out there for the fifth inning, the third-base umpire checked me,” Schmidt said after New York’s 6-2 win. “He checked my hands and said they were completely fine. He checked the back of my wrist where the glove slides onto, and I’m using a black glove, and there’s like black fur inside the glove.
“Throughout the game, sweating and rosin, it kind of built up on the back of my wrist where the fur sits.”
The umpires allowed Schmidt to stay on the mound after Schmidt cleaned off his wrist. Bell was ejected while disputing the umpires’ decision to allow Schmidt to continue his scoreless outing. Cincinnati had just three hits off Schmidt at that point.
“David was upset that we made him clean it off and not eject him,” crew chief Brian O’Nora said via the pool reporter. “I explained the situation. He kept going. I told him it was enough and he kept going. I had no choice but to eject him.”
Bell declined to discuss the ejection after the game.
“I think it was probably obvious what happened, and I’m just going to leave it at that,” the Reds manager said. “We don’t benefit from me talking about this, so I’m not going to talk about it. But it was obvious what happened.”
It was the second time this season an opposing manager was tossed after a sticky substance check on a Yankees pitcher. On April 15, Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was tossed when Domingo German was allowed to keep pitching.
“I get it,” Schmidt said. “The league is hypersensitive about it right now. You see it all across the league where guys are getting more extensive on the searches, which is completely fine. I have nothing to hide.”
Reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge hit his seventh home run in as many games as the surging Yankees improved to 9-3 in their past 12 games.
Judge, who received a standing ovation from the many Yankees fans in attendance following his pregame batting session, wasted little time making his presence felt in the teams’ first meeting in Cincinnati since 2017. Judge drilled the fifth pitch he saw from Reds starter Ben Lively 431 feet to center field for his 13th home run of the season.
“It’s just very reminiscent of what we saw last year,” Schmidt said of Judge. “You see the same guy. I don’t think anything’s changed from last year. When you see him catch hot like this, just watch out. It’s definitely a reason for concern for the rest of the league.”
The homer was Judge’s only hit of the night, but he has homered in five of the past seven games — including hitting two in two games during that stretch.
Lively was pulled in the sixth after walking Judge on six pitches. Lively allowed just two hits, including Judge’s first-inning home run, while compiling a career-high eight strikeouts as the Red lost for the fourth time in five games.
The Yankees added three runs in the ninth, including a two-run double by Kyle Higashioka.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
Reds’ David Bell tossed after sticky stuff check of Yanks’ Clarke Schmidt