On July 1 after pitcher Johnny Cueto beat the Diamondbacks with a six-scoreless inning performance, he was 8-4 with a 2.69 ERA in 16 starts. He was a candidate for the All-Star team.
On Tuesday, Cueto was on the wrong end of a 6-3 defeat while giving up five earned runs and seven hits over 5 2/3 innings with two walks, two hit batters and four strikeouts. For the most part, he pitched decently.
The game started with Kosuke Fukudome’s leadoff homer. But the bigger damage came during the four-run sixth when all the runs scored after there were two outs. Cueto was hurt by the bottom of the order, too. Koyie Hill hit a liner to center field that got past a diving Willy Taveras and scored two.
“It was a great effort and great play but that’s how things have been,” manager Dusty Baker said. “It can’t keep going our way. It’s got to turn and go our way. It’s got to.”
Cubs starter Tom Gorzellany blooped a RBI single into center field and finished Cueto. One more run, charged to Cueto, scored off Daniel Herrera. Cueto was clearly agitated on the mound as the rally mounted. After he was taken out, he chucked his glove down the stairs to the clubhouse tunnel.
“He’s frustrated because he was making great pitches,” Baker said.
Cueto is now 0-6 with a 9.85 ERA over his last six starts. Overall, he is 8-9 with a 4.23 ERA.
“The good thing is I feel good. My arm feels good,” Cueto said. “But we’re coming through a tough situation, for the whole team. We’re not scoring too many runs and I need to be perfect on every pitch. Every time I make a mistake, I pay the consequences.”
Tough times at GABP — the Reds are in the midst of a 1-8 homestand with eight-straight losses, which they haven’t done since April 27-May 6, 2005. They have also lost 14 out of 15 games.
“I know in the bottom of my heart that this isn’t going to last,” Baker said.
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