The New York Yankees got dominated by Yusei Kikuchi Wednesday night but all eyes were on his hat instead.
It’s been almost 24 hours and the talk of the Bronx is still that sticky substance on the brim of pitcher Yusei Kikuchi’s Seattle Mariners cap.
Of course, when the New York Yankees get flat-out dominated after being red-hot for a good period of time, any excuse will do. Yusei Kikuchi’s hat was the target.
And it didn’t go unnoticed by any of the eagle-eyed fans. Or other coaches, for that matter.
According to Andy Martino of SNY, one anonymous pitching coach had something to say regarding Kikuchi’s pretty obvious use of pine tar.
“It’s over the top,” the pitching coach said, per Martino. “Someone needs to make him aware of the obvious disrespect. Seriously, he needs to be more discrete.”
And in a way, he’s right. Multiple camera angles caught Kikuchi’s cap shining during this masterpiece. While many pitchers utilize pine tar, none are quite as obvious as Kikuchi. Of course, Yankees fans remember Michael Pineda‘s pine tar outing back in 2014.
Kikuchi was able to use the pine tar to his advantage and beat the Yankees pretty handily. Even if the pine tar wasn’t a factor, the Bombers still couldn’t stop the Seattle offense, which exploded for 10 runs.
When another pitcher was asked about the pine tar, he confirmed that Kikuchi was “just a smidge” too obvious. Yeah, we get it. It was a little too clear.
Otherwise, Kikuchi was dominant. He excelled over 7.2 innings of work, allowing just three hits to a Yankees offense who has been hot as of late.
So everyone knows what Kikuchi did. However, the Yankees had no answer for him anyway. Time to move on and focus on the next game coming up.
For Kikuchi, however, he should learn to hide it a little better. He’s got plenty to learn if he wants to be like every other major league pitcher when they hide their ammunition.