- Mets pitcher Tylor Megill made his first MLB start on Wednesday after six years in the minors.
- Megill received a standing ovation when he came off the mound after an impressive debut.
- But then umpires made him take off his belt for a banned substance search during the ovation.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
New York Mets pitcher Tylor Megill’s first MLB start ended with him being forced to unbuckle his belt in front of the entire Citi Field crowd.
Megill, who spent the last six years in the minor leagues to earn the chance to pitch for the Mets, had a solid performance in his first game against the Atlanta Braves. He pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and four strikeouts.
Megill’s poise earned him a standing ovation by the Mets home crowd when he was taken out of the game in the fifth inning, but his performance may have been too good for umpires to believe.
As Megill walked off the field, umpires approached him and ordered him to unbuckle his belt for a banned substance inspection, as per Major League Baseball’s new policy.
The policy mandates that umpires regularly inspect pitchers during games for potential banned foreign substances that are used to improve grip on the baseball.
Most of the inspections have resulted in boo’s when they come against the home team’s pitchers, and Megill’s was no exception. The Mets fans’ standing ovation quickly spiraled into a raucus barrage of boos against the umpires, as Megill had to walk to the dugout while fans expressed their dusgust, as the cheers were lost.
Still, Megill made it a point to thank the Mets fans that initially gave him the standing ovation after the game, and took the high road when asked about the umpires’ inspection.
“It was awesome,” Megill said of the ovation. “I’m glad the fans support me and that they’re cheering for me, it gives me a great deal of confidence knowing they’re out there doing that for me.”
“It is what it is, where we’re at in baseball right now, so it’s whatever,” Megill said of the inspection.
Other instances of excessive inspections by umpires have led to more demonstrative reactions from pitchers.
Oakland Athletics reliever Sergio Romo incredulously pulled down his pants when umpires approached him for an inspection during a game against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer was checked three times in four innings against the Philadelphia Phillies, and then taunted Phillies manager Joe Girardi, who was then ejected for responding angrily.
Other star pitchers have spoken out against MLB’s new policy, and have asked the league to reconsider its stance.