Postgame: Cueto gets praise

This road trip is getting to be a little yucky for the Reds (that’s a clinical term professional writers use). A 4-3 loss to the Rockies made it a 1-4 on the trip with two games remaining.

The good —

*Johnny Cueto got tapped for three runs in the  first inning but deserves a lot of credit. Pitching with a heavy heart after losing an uncle he was close to, Cueto limited the damage and preserved his team’s bullpen and had a quality start.

“He threw the ball great. You hate for him to lose it and for us to lose it,” manager Dusty Baker said.

*Cueto spent almost all of his time between starts in the Dominican Republic with his family. He found out about his uncle’s death prior to last Wednesday’s game vs. Milwaukee.

“He pitched the last game at home – six innings – when he knew something tragic had happened back in the Dominican,” Baker said. “He’s a strong young man. He came here to pitch. That day we were going to skip him at home and he said ‘no I want to pitch.'”

*Jonny Gomes kept the Reds close in the eighth with a big blast of a homer to left field. It was a two-out shot on a 3-2 count. Estimated distance was 412 feet but it seemed to go further. It definitely went high.

*Trevor Hoffman got his 600th save for the Brewers. Why is that good for the Reds? Milwaukee beat the Cardinals, 4-2, which kept the Reds’ division advantage to six games. It also lowered the magic number a notch to 20.

“Fortunately for us, we didn’t lose any ground,” Baker said. “It’s one less day on the schedule. It’s very important we need to win these next two games.”

The not-so-good —

*It wasn’t an exemplary night for Brandon Phillips, who struck out twice and grounded into a double play. He also got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Carlos Gonzalez made a great throw and it was a close play.

*The crusher was Phillips E4 in the sixth when he booted Seth Smith’s routine two-out grounder. Next batter Miguel Olivo followed with a RBI double. It proved to be the difference in the game.

*The error by Phillips was only his third of the season and ended a 63-game errorless streak since June 16.

More quotes —

“It was tough but I don’t take those things into the game. What happened, happened. I have it in my heart. When I go out there, I put my best on my job. This is my job.” — Johnny Cueto.

“Johnny Cueto, after the first three hitters of the game, bounced back and gave you a pretty good indication as to why he’s a 12-game winner.” — Rockies manager Jim Tracy.

“The first one was a broken bat hit. The second one was a 2-1 count and he was running. He got the ball was down where Fowler likes the ball. He threw a pretty good pitch to Gonzalez. Sometimes if the guys can hit, they can hit. It’s not always a mistake when you give up homers, especially to a quality hitter like that.” — Dusty Baker on Cueto’s first inning

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