New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom is checked for foreign substances and passes inspection

The new normal has arrived for Major League Baseball pitchers.

Enforcing a rule that has always been on the book but perpetually ignored, umpires checked New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom for foreign substances to aid in gripping the baseball.

The "sticky stuff" controversy reared its head last week, when MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced the enforcement. The penalty for violating the rule is an automatic 10-game suspension.

The league said the inspections would begin Monday. And with the Mets and Braves playing a doubleheader to kick off Monday's games, deGrom was the first test run of what the checks would constitute.

As deGrom walked off the field in the top half of the first inning, an umpire asked him to remove his cap and also checked his belt before allowing the two-time Cy Young winner to return to his team's dugout.

DeGrom threw eight pitches in the inning, striking out the Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies in a 1-2-3 frame.

After retiring the Braves in order in the second (and another two punchouts), deGrom hesitated before exiting the field, wondering if he would be checked again.

The umpires let him keep walking, but starters are expected to be checked multiple times per game.

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mets' Jacob deGrom passes MLB umpire inspection for foreign substances