June 23, 2018
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MLB: No evidence Lester used foreign substance

Greg M. Cooper | USA Today Sports
Greg M. Cooper | USA Today Sports
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) looks for a sign against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fifth inning of game one of the World Series at Fenway Park.
By The Sports Xchange, Special to the BDN

Boston Red Sox starter Jon Lester was accused of using an illegal substance in Game 1 of the World Series by a St. Louis Cardinals minor-leaguer, who made the assertion via social media.

Tyler Melling, a Class-A lefthanded pitcher and 2011 39th-round draft pick, posted via Twitter (@TylerMelling) “Jon Lester using a little Vaseline inside the glove tonight?” The message was accompanied by a still picture of a television shot in which what appears to be a glob of a greenish substance is visible near the webbing and pinkie of Lester’s black glove.

Major League Baseball said in a statement: “We cannot draw any conclusions from this video. There were no complaints from the Cardinals and the umpires never detected anything indicating a foreign substance throughout the game.”

General manager John Mozeliak said the Cardinals were not pursuing the matter further in a statement issued to major media outlets after Vine videos and photos of Lester’s glove spread through social media.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s a non-issue,” Mozeliak said. “It’s something that arose in social media and not from our players or manager or our coaching staff. To me it does not represent a concern.”

TBS baseball analyst and former relief pitcher Dirk Hayhurst made similar accusations in May. Hayhurst said Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz was doctoring the baseball on the mound.

In 2006, the Cardinals appealed to umpires during the World Series to have Detroit Tigers left-handed starter Kenny Rogers’ glove and hat be inspected for illegal substances. The team charged that Rogers was using pine tar.

Buchholz to start Game 4

Clay Buchholz’s season is not over.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Buchholz is scheduled to pitch against the Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday in St. Louis.

According to media reports, the Red Sox were considered shutting down the right-hander because of arm fatigue and starting left-hander Felix Doubront in Game 4 on Sunday night at St. Louis. However, Farrell said Wednesday that right-hander Jake Peavy is in line to start Game 3 on Saturday night at Busch Stadium, with Buchholz starting the next night.

“He’s going to pitch,” Farrell said of Buchholz. “After we went through some work today, he did throw a little bit in the outfield. We’ll probably look to give him every extra day we can, and that would point to Sunday.”


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