Why Yamamoto’s glove was inspected during Monday’s Giants-Dodgers game

Why Yamamoto’s glove was inspected during Monday’s Giants-Dodgers game originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – Yoshinobu Yamamoto has worn the same glove in all nine of his career MLB starts since coming over from Japan. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ $325 million free-agent acquisition uses a Nike glove that primarily is Dodger Blue with black as its secondary color.

But the glove also has white cursive stitching along the thumb, as well as a big white Nike logo along the wrist area. Yamamoto after the bottom of the first inning Monday night had his glove checked outside the visitors dugout for the first time this season in his first start at Oracle Park, a 6-4 Dodgers win against the Giants.

“I think they were checking the logo or color,” Yamamoto said through translator Yoshihiro Sonoda. “There was nothing else wrong with it.”

Yamamoto in the first inning faced four batters. The bottom half of the inning began with a Mike Yastrzemski flyout to left field, followed by a Thairo Estrada double and groundouts by Matt Chapman and LaMonte Wade Jr. Yamamoto was allowed to continue wearing his glove in the second inning and the rest of his outing, but his first trip back to the mound after getting checked was his first bit of trouble on the night.

Six batters and three hits later, the Giants held a 3-1 lead over Yamamoto and the Dodgers – highlighted by Luis Matos’ three-run homer off a hanging curveball.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed Monday night that the white Nike logo on Yamamoto’s glove is what was being inspected.

Opposing managers, coaches and players can use mind games to find any advantage, especially in a historic rivalry like the Dodgers and Giants have had since the franchises were first in New York and then continued upon their moves to California. That wasn’t the case this time. Inspecting the white on Yamamoto’s glove did not come from Giants manager Bob Melvin or anybody else in the organization.

“No, no that was Nick Mahrley the first-base ump just saw the Nike swoosh and I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Roberts made clear Tuesday two hours before first pitch.

Yamamoto allowed four earned runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings and tallied six strikeouts. His four earned runs were his most allowed in a game since giving up five in his MLB debut on March 21 while completing just one inning of work.

Roberts isn’t worried about Yamamoto’s glove going forward and expects his ace to keep wearing it the rest of the season.

“It’s not a competitive advantage,” Roberts said. “I don’t think it affects the hitter. I hope this is the last game. … I don’t know if there was a memo sent out about it. It’s not like he had to change the glove out. I think the main thing you want to guard against is some type of deterrent or distraction for the hitter, which it clearly isn’t.

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