Bizarre ‘Ear Check’ Controversy Can’t Slow Down Musgrove & Padres

It was one of the strangest scenes in recent baseball playoff history. New York Mets manager Buck Showalter asked umpires to check San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove’s shiny ears  (yes, you read that right) during the 6th inning of their deciding Wild Card Series game Sunday night. 

Twitter was ablaze with pictures of Musgrove’s extra shiny ear all night, and with the pitcher taking a no-hitter into the 5th, combined with spin rates on all his pitches up a fair bit over his norm, Showalter at least had a reason to be suspicious. 

After the umpires gave his ears a good massage and then cleared him, Musgrove struck out the next batter and then had a gesture..of some kind..for the Mets' dugout. 

The tactic by Showalter and the Mets obviously didn’t work, as Musgrove continued to mow them down, and became the first pitcher in baseball history to go 7 scoreless innings with one or no hits (he allowed one) in a postseason winner-take-all game. 

The Padres went on to a 6-0 victory, winning the best-of-three series 2-1, and move on to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. 

Photo: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports