TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 17: Brett Cecil #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts to a John Mayberry Jr. #15 of the Philadelphia Phillies home run during MLB action at The Rogers Centre June 17, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Over the past few years it was no secret that Brett Cecil was a favourite of mine. Couldn't quite explain it but I just liked watching him go out and pitch. It wasn't until near the end of last year I had to finally admit to myself that Cecil simply wasn't very good, his diminishing velocity and more importantly loss of control was just too much to overcome at the big league (and quite frankly any) level. Going into the year when the Jays demoted Cecil during spring training I had honestly thought we may have seen the last of Brett Cecil. His results on the year in the minors did nothing to change my opinion from the spring. Baseball however, has a funny way of changing things in a hurry and with all of the injuries facing the Jays Cecil is getting another shot.
First things first. Wow. Cecil has lost a lot of weight. I never want to be a guy to criticize a player for weight problems because who am I to talk about that sort of thing, but Cecil had looked like he had put on a few pounds over the past couple of years. I seriously almost didn't recognize him pitching today and I say that without a shred of sarcasm. Cecil's line on the day while not great isn't half bad either. He went 5 Innings giving up 5Hs 2ER with only 1BB vs the 5Ks. The two runs came on solo home runs where Cecil had laid a perfectly placed meatball in the center of the zone. Other then that he was effective as evident by the 5/1 K/B ratio. It was encouraging to see a bit more control from the lefty. That isn't to say there wasn't problems aside from the meatball HR there were a couple of instances of getting ahead of a batter only to fall back to a 2-2 or full count. Those obviously didn't help his pitch total. In the end he had only thrown 87 pitches when Farrell pulled him and put in Luis Perez to start the 6th, I think Farrell wanted to preserve a good outing for Cecil and hope that it is something he can build on. Luis Perez came out for the next 3 innings and did great, only 1 H and 3Ks while throwing only 37 pitches. Jason Frasor closed out the ninth in the non-save situation needing 15 pitches while giving up 2H but not letting anyone cross the plate.
At the plate it was the Colby Rasmus show. Rasmus was 3 for 4 with a HR, 2Rs scored and 3RBI. He looked great on the day (an awkward post game interview not withstanding). During the game the broadcast team talked with Rasmus' Dad. He talked how great it has been for Colby in Toronto. The stories of Colby in St. Louis are well documented and I'm not sure how much I really want to get into whether or not he is "happier", all I know is over the past little while Colby has been playing fantastic and that is more then enough for me. Brett Lawrie, Edwin Encarnacion, Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar, Rajai Davis and Jeff Mathis each had a hit apiece (Lawrie and Mathis each had a double).
It looked like it might be a bit of a back and forth game early. The Jays scored 2 in their half of the first but then the Phillies came back with solo shots in the 2nd and 3rd to tie it up. After that the Jays started to pull ahead and Cecil and the pen shut down the Phillies.
Overall it was a great way to end the series and get the sweep. Nice of the Jays to get the sweep while Tom is in town even though he jinxed their pitchers.
Jays of the Day: Colby Rasmus .229, Rajai Davis .102 Luis Perez .129 Brett Cecil .096
Up next the Jays travel to Milwaukee to take on Ryan Braun and the Brew crew. The game gets underway tomorrow night at 8:10PM