Cecil fielde defeated Rangers in firing first shutout
turned and let out a scream while punching the air in celebration. It was as though four months of frustration -- which included a long stint in the Minor Leagues -- were being released all at that time .
The emotion was clearly evident on Brett Cecil's face after he struck out Mike Napoli (Texas Rangers #25) to record the first shutout of his career.
Cecil fielde --The 25-year-old allowed just four hits in the best start of his career as Toronto Blue jays
dominates the Texas Rangers, 3-0, on Sunday night at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Cecil, who struck out a season-high seven and appeared to have little difficulty against the second-ranked offense in the American League.He said "It's obviously a great accomplishment," "I come back from where I was at the beginning of the season and kind of where I've been floating around the whole season.
"It has definitely been a big thing for me as far as getting back on the right path. I just hope it continues."
The Blue Jays lefty had previously thrown just one complete game in his career, which came on July 5, when he threw eight innings in a loss to the Boston Red Sox
. Cecil hadn't enjoyed a scoreless outing since a 7 1/3-innings performance on May 24, 2010, against the Los Angeles Angels
Cecil didn't allow a runner to reach scoring position until the bottom of the eighth inning. Craig Gentry led off with a single just past the outstretched glove of shortstop Yunel Escobar.
Gentry moved up one batter later on a fly ball to left field. Cecil then retired the next two batters to escape the inning perfect .
Cecil came back out to start the ninth and appeared to find another gear. Cecil, who was optioned to Triple-A in April after a mysterious loss in velocity, topped out at 94 mph in the final frame before eventually striking out Napoli to end the game.
The third-year pitcher is now 2-1 with a 2.40 ERA and three quality starts in his past four outings. That's a stark difference from the guy who was sent down to the Minors after going 1-2 with a 6.86 ERA in his first four starts.
Count catcher J.P. Arencibia among those who think the velocity problems from earlier in the year were overblown.
Arencibia said. "I think the biggest thing is we got too jion in his velocity drop and all that stuff," "Sometimes that wears on you as a player, and I think he was trying to do too much.
"You see today, now he has his faith back, he's throwing out there. He's at his best when he pitches 88-90 and he's down in the zone. There's some guys that live and play for a long time doing that and are successful."
starter Alexi Ogando matched Cecil pitch for pitch through the first five innings. He allowed just three hits over that span while striking out six, but the 27-year-old began to experience some difficulty in the sixth.
Ogando finished the inning but was pulled with two outs in the seventh. He allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out six. It was just his fourth loss of the season and first since June 25.
"It was still Brett Cecil's night," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "You can get shut out by anybody if he's good and he's making pitches. If he's a (MLB
) Major League pitcher, there are going to be times when he pitches a heck of a game and tonight was his night."