Brandon McCarthy Accuses Joe Musgrove of Cheating, Rapidly Backtracks

Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Three
Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Three / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

The San Diego Padres and New York Mets are facing off in Game 3 of their MLB wild card series Sunday night and there was some controversy. Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove was dominating the Mets and his spin rates were up, so naturally the Mets, their fans and some on the Internet thought he was cheating. Include former big leaguer Brandon McCarthy in that group. But he quickly backtracked.

In the bottom of the sixth, Mets manager Buck Showalter asked umpires to check Musgrove's glove, hat and ears for sticky stuff. They obliged and apparently didn't find anything because they walked away without incident. Leading up to that check, McCarthy was leading the charge of people claiming Musgrove was definitely cheating.

Here's some of McCarthy's tweets going after Musgrove:

After Musgrove was thoroughly checked and cleared by the umpires, McCarthy rapidly backtracked:

I don't know, maybe have some hard facts and insight before accusing a guy of cheating in the middle of the performance of his life? Just a thought.

Andrew McCutchen weighed in with the likely explanation for what was going on with Musgrove's ears:

Before you ask, no, Red Hot is not sticky. It's slippery and would almost certainly decrease spin rates if someone applied it to a baseball. On top of that, Musgrove wasn't touching his ears during the game.

Eno Sarris weighed in and explained Musgrove's spin rates really weren't up dramatically.

It appears it's just a case of a guy being really pumped up for a big start and delivering.