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Brett Cecil Saves the Day

Pitching in middle to late relief can be a thankless job. Often times, these guys are cleaning up other pitchers messes and they’re bridging the gap to the closer.

But Brett Cecil is proving otherwise. It’s been a roller coaster season for the former closer of the Blue Jays, and he’s now flourishing in his role and pitching his best baseball of the season at the most crucial point of the schedule.

Cecil’s clutch performance against the Yankees might’ve been one of the biggest moments of the 2015 Toronto Blue Jays season.



With the tying run at the plate, Brett Cecil struck out the meat of the Yankees order in Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann.

The strike three call to Brett Gardner may have been a bit of a gift, but it was an extremely close pitch at the top of the strike zone.

Cecil followed that up by whiffing Alex Rodriguez with this killer curveball which bounced in the dirt.

And finally another strikeout of Brian McCann with his wicked curveball. Notice the nearly simultaneous fist pumps by Brett Cecil and Russell Martin.

This was just the latest in what has been an incredible stretch of games for Brett Cecil; that makes 31 consecutive games in which he has not allowed an earned run. During that stretch, he’s faced 101 batters and struck out 36 of them and walked only 4.

Cecil has really carved out a niche not only as a left-handed specialist, but as one of the Blue Jays’ best high leverage relievers. In fact, his recent string of appearances might’ve earned him a chance at taking over one of the late relief roles in the Blue Jays bullpen.

It’s actually quite miraculous to watch the path that Brett Cecil has taken since Opening Day. Arguably miscast as the Blue Jays’ closer out of the gate, he struggled through a few peaks and valleys until about end of June.

But ever since then, Brett Cecil has been utterly dominant out of the bullpen, recapturing some of that magic he displayed back in 2013 and 2014.

Ever since the All-Star break, a great deal of credit has been heaped upon to the Blue Jays’ prolific offense and much-improved starting rotation. But let’s not forget that middle-to-late relief innings are when games are often quietly won and lost.



But performances like Brett Cecil’s was anything but quiet. In fact, it may eventually go down as the loudest eighth inning at the Rogers Centre this season.

Image via Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images Sport

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Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

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