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Cecil denies using substance on ball

MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- The mystery behind how a ball stuck to Yadier Molina's chest protector in Thursday's 6-4 loss to the Cubs persisted a day later as no one with the Cardinals has been able to explain it.

That includes reliever Brett Cecil, who bounced the pitch that attached itself to Molina and sparked a four-run inning for Chicago. Unavailable for comment after the game, Cecil said Friday that he did not apply a substance to the ball that would have resulted in it sticking to the chest protector.

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ST. LOUIS -- The mystery behind how a ball stuck to Yadier Molina's chest protector in Thursday's 6-4 loss to the Cubs persisted a day later as no one with the Cardinals has been able to explain it.

That includes reliever Brett Cecil, who bounced the pitch that attached itself to Molina and sparked a four-run inning for Chicago. Unavailable for comment after the game, Cecil said Friday that he did not apply a substance to the ball that would have resulted in it sticking to the chest protector.

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"You guys saw Yadi spinning around and the ball didn't come off," Cecil said. "I think if I was throwing with something that was that sticky, I'd be throwing 45-foot dirtballs the whole game. Your guess is as good as mine. I have no idea. I talked to Yadi, he has no idea. Can't explain it."

In fact, Cecil wanted to be so transparent that he offered to have his gloves inspected by anyone who may have still suspected that he was responsible for what some have now termed goo-gate.

"There's absolutely nothing on them," Cecil said of his gloves." I've seen guys put a lot of stuff other places. I don't have anything showing. You guys can look at games from the past, and there's no certain area that I touch more frequently than others. It's not difficult for me because I know I don't put anything on the ball. I know Yadi doesn't put anything on his chest protector. It's just one of those things."

The one thing that everyone could agree upon was that this was the first time they had ever seen a ball attach to a chest protector. The most plausible explanation seems to be that pine tar or some other substance got on the ball and caused it to stick. In colder temperatures, catchers often use pine tar or a spray to get a better grip on the ball.

When Molina was asked if that could have the culprit, he called it "a dumb question."

The clip of Molina doing circles looking for a ball stuck to him went viral because of the oddity of the play. However, it did not draw the interest of Major League Baseball. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny confirmed MLB did not contact the Cardinals to investigate whether the adhesion could have been the result of an illegal substance. Similarly, the Cubs did not request any further explanation. It worked in their benefit, of course, as the wild pitch allowed Matt Szczur to reach ahead of Kyle Schwarber, who blasted a go-ahead home run.

"I don't know if you could throw something on a ball and make that happen," Matheny said. "If you put Liquid Nails on a ball, I don't know if you could make that happen again. I don't know what in the world really happened there. But there are going to be plenty of other ideas."

Worth noting

Trevor Rosenthal is likely to throw a simulated inning or two at Busch Stadium on Saturday as a final test before coming off the disabled list. Doing so would take the place of having Rosenthal leave for a brief Minor League rehab assignment. Rosenthal, who is recovering from a right lat strain, is eligible to be activated Sunday.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

St. Louis Cardinals, Brett Cecil, Yadier Molina