“I fully expected that because I've never seen it,” Cecil said before St. Louis played Cincinnati on Friday. “I've been playing baseball for a long time and I've never seen it, so I'm sure there is an uproar about it. But if I could explain it I would, but I can't.”
Whatever happened, it's over. Major League Baseball has looked into the bizarre play involving the star St. Louis catcher and determined there wasn't any rules violation.
Molina said he had no idea how Cecil's pitch bounced into his protector and clung to it Thursday against the Cubs. He was asked postgame if he put something sticky there and the Gold Glove star dismissed it as a “dumb question.”
Molina wasn't available to the media Friday afternoon.
Catchers sometimes dab pine tar on their shin guards to help give them a better grip on throws.
MLB Rule 3.01 prohibits players from intentionally discoloring or damaging balls with foreign substances, and the penalty is an ejection and 10-game suspension.
The Cardinals led in the seventh inning when Cecil got Cubs pinch-hitter Matt Szczur to strike out on a pitch in the dirt. The ball skipped up and stuck to Molina's protector by the time he located it, Szczur was safely at first base.
The Cubs turned their good fortune into a four-run rally and a win at Busch Stadium.
“I really don't have any explanation for it,” Cecil said. “I don't use any foreign substances. You guys saw Yadi spinning around and the ball didn't even come off.”
“I think if I was throwing with something that sticky, I would be throwing 45-foot dirt balls and that's not the case. Your guess is as good as mine.”
Center fielder Keon Broxton rejoined the Milwaukee Brewers and said he was eager to return to action a day after getting hit in the helmet by a fastball. He wasn’t in the lineup against the Cubs. . . . Boston put left-hander Robbie Ross on the 10-day disabled list, and Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts did not play against Detroit, all because of flu symptoms. Also, Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is on the bereavement list. ... Baltimore acquired right-handed reliever Miguel Castro from Colorado for a player to be named.