October 02, 2009
The St. Louis Cardinals are apparently thinking that Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo(notes) was using pine tar when he pitched against them on Wednesday night and won his 15th game of the season, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"I'm sure he had pine tar on his cap," Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan said. "He didn't have any problem getting a grip. Balls like that can generate a lot more movement than a slick ball that hasn't been rubbed up." And Cardinals manager Tony La Russa apparently agreed with him.
Cards starter John Smoltz(notes) apparently did have problems getting a grip. He walked five hitters in the game, which is not a normal stat for him. He had walked only three guys in the previous 34 innings. He was saying the balls weren't rubbed up properly with mud by clubhouse attendants before the game.
Arroyo, who does touch his hat a lot when he pitches, is saying his hat may have looked dirty because he's worn the same one all year long. "I guarantee when I pitch against the Cardinals next year, I'll call over and tell Dave Duncan I'm wearing a brand new hat," Arroyo told the Enquirer.