Brett Cecil should not be an insignificant player for the Cardinals.
When he was signed as a free-agent this past off-season, he was not brought in to be a left-handed specialist. He was brought in to be the left-handed specialist. A guy that was going to totally remake a leaky Cardinals pen and deliver clutch outs in close games.
Especially against southpaws.
And he was paid accordingly. In fact, his 7.5M check for 2017 is the 6th highest on the entire team.
So far, he has done the following:
- Allowed 16 hits in 13 innings pitched
- Allowed 10 hits against 23 left-handed batters
- Blown 3 saves
- Posted a 4.85 ERA
On Tuesday night, he came into the game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 6th. He promptly gave up a double, single and sacrifice fly to turn a 1-1 game into a 5-1 Marlins lead.
The first 3 batters he faced were – you guessed it – left-handed.
He got roasted on Twitter and you could almost hear the columns about his bad, bad season getting hammered out on keyboards from Miami to Chesterfield.
Then the top of the 8th happened.
And the Cardinals officially have a signature win for 2017.
While many will (rightfully) point to Mag Sierra’s speed or Marp’s eye or Gyorko/Fowler’s clutch hits as their main talking point… I think this game might just be remembered as the turning point for Brett Cecil.
Again, yes, I know he was butt this game. He’d be the first to tell you that.
But there’s something to be said for playing your worst and having your teammates pick you up. That locker room was filled with a ton of fun tonight… none of it being had by Cecil.
We’ve all been there. Where the outcome turned out good, but we don’t really feel great about how it happened.
Brett Cecil did about as bad as you can do in the spot he was put into and instead of it being the headline tomorrow – it’s an afterthought. Something that only the Debbiest of downers will bring up around the office or class.
“How about that comeback last night? Wasn’t that awesome!? What a win! First place!”
“Sorry. Didn’t enjoy it. Brett Cecil ruined it for me.”
That’s not happening.
So Cecil can use a mulligan and get back after it tomorrow. Or Friday. Or Saturday. Get that one good outing going and then try to make it two in a row the next day.
The Cardinals need Cecil to be better.
I think he can be better.
And I’m calling my shot right now… Brett Cecil WILL be better. Much better.
UPDATE (5/10 @ 10:22p)
Mr. Cecil was inserted into Wednesday night’s game in the bottom of the 6th and didn’t finish the inning. He surrendered 3 more hits and a earned run before being pulled for Jonathan Broxton.
Worse, this was right after the Cardinals had taken the lead after previously trailing 4-0.
Soooooo… let’s hope that #21 gets going soon. It just wasn’t “now” as I had predicted.
Photo: Toronto Star