Results tagged ‘ Johnny Cueto ’

Cueto stays spectacular

 One has to wonder if Johnny Cueto would be treading into Cy Young Award territory had he not missed the first month of the season.

Cueto was masterful again in a 2-1 Reds win over Washington. He took a five-hit shutout into the ninth before a Ryan Zimmerman homer on a first pitch fastball ended his outing. Francisco Cordero survived a bases-loaded jam to get his 24th save.

The line for Cueto: 8 ip, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. He once again qualifies for the Majors ERA lead at 1.89. He scoreless innings streak of 15 ended with the homer.

Why Cueto won’t be beating out the likes of Roy Halladay and others in Cy Young consideration is his lack of numbers everywhere else. Cueto has only nine wins (9-5), 128 1/3 innings, 83 strikeouts and three complete games. He’s given up more than three runs only twice in 19 starts. He’s allowed just seven homers.

Roy Halladay has 15 wins, a 2.53 ERA, 184 2/3 innings 177 strikeouts and seven complete games.
Clayton Kershaw has 14 wins, 175 2/3 innings and 193 Ks with four CGs
Cliff Lee has 12 wins, 172 innings and 177 Ks with 5 CGs.

You get the idea.

Cueto likely missed about 6 starts when the season began because of irritation in his right biceps and triceps. His season didn’t begin until May 8.

Nevertheless, it’s been a fine season for Cueto and one that seems destined to continue on a positive note.

“He’s definitely one of the elite pitchers,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “At this point in time of the season, he’s not as worn or tired as a lot of the other pitchers when he missed that one month. That was one of the things we were counting on down the stretch – him and Homer both. They had an abbreviated season and they are still strong and still have good stuff. They work hard and missed a lot of time. It should equate to them being excellent down the stretch and everybody else a little more worn a tired.”

Just the quotes…

Reaction from both clubhouses following the Reds 1-0 loss to the Cardinals on Monday.

On the pitching duel between Cueto and Carpenter:

“I don’t think that surprised anybody. We always have our hands full when Carp is out there. Cueto has been as good as anybody in the league. We definitely expected that out of both guys.” — Scott Rolen

“That was as good as you’re going to see. Both of them were dealing. We actually had more chances than they did. You hate to lose a game like that on a little jam shot-squibber because Johnny was great.” — Dusty Baker

“It doesn’t bother me because it’s part of the game. When I go there, I want to win. If that’s the way God wants it, that’s it.” — Johnny Cueto

“The key is that he’s pitching. He faced a lot of No. 1’s lately. He’s matched up with every one of them. He’s really maturing and coming along as a pitcher.” — Baker on Cueto

On Rolen’s play at third base to try and stop the Mark Hamilton RBI infield hit in the eighth:

“I was playing off the line. It kind of squibbed over and that was the only way I could think of making the play. He beat it out. It’s a base hit and RBI. “I knew it was fair right away. I knew it was going to land past the bag. I was just trying to get over there and see what happens when I got there.” — Scott Rolen

“That ball is spinning. That was a golden glove play by Scotty right there to even get that close.” — Dusty Baker

“I thought it had a chance to get by him when I hit it. He made an unbelievable play on me so I just had to get on my horse and get down the line, honestly the dive was just one of those spur of the moment things. It’s almost like I could feel the ball coming from Rolen at third and I felt like I had to do something to get there.” — Cardinals PH Mark Hamilton

“That play Scott made may be the greatest play by a third baseman I’ve ever seen. I have no idea how he got to that ball and threw the ball, I have no idea.” — Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa

And Rolen on his 2000th career hit, a first-inning single off Carpenter:

“I’m not a huge numbers guy but that’s number or plateau or a resting place I guess for a second. I guess I can let myself reflect a little bit since it’s a milestone number. It’s more a representation – I feel like I’ve worked pretty hard at this game, coming up from the minor leagues and all the way through. It’s a nice number. I will reflect on that number as a reward for a lot of sweat.”

Cueto out, Wood in

There is an interesting development — Johnny Cueto, tonight’s originally scheduled starter, is not in the lineup posted by the club. It’s Travis Wood, who was supposed to go on Tuesday. The clubhouses aren’t open yet, so stand by for the reason.

Reds lineup vs. Yankees:

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Bruce 9
Rolen 5
Heisey 7
Hanigan 2
Janish 6
Wood 1

****update**** Cueto now scheduled to pitch on Tuesday. Reason not known yet. Stay tuned.

**UPDATE #2**** Cueto has a stiff neck.

 “My neck is sore,” Cueto said. “I’m probably pitching tomorrow, depends on how I feel when I throw today.

“When I throw, there’s a little pain.”

 “His neck has been bothering him the last few days, probably since the plane trip coming back,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Versus us waiting until the last minute and telling Woody to strap it on and let’s go, we decided to make the change and give both of them the opportunity. We actually made the change last night so we informed Woody. It’s his normal day today.”

*Before the game tonight, Jay Bruce will receive his NL Player of the Week and Player of the Month Award from May.

*1961-era Reds pitcher Jim O’Toole is the Reds’ honorary captain tonight. O’Toole’s club faced the Yankees in the ’61 World Series, won by New York.

Cueto’s 100th start

As I continue to feel like the Lincoln Lawyer cruising LA’s freeways in a giant black Town Car, I greet you from another beautiful day at Dodger Stadium.

Reds lineup vs. Dodgers

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Bruce 9
Rolen 5
Heisey 7
Hernandez 2
Janish 6
Cueto 1

*Johnny Cueto’s toughest matchup could come against Matt Kemp, who is 5-for-9 with two homers against him lifetime. This is also the 100th big league start of Cueto’s career. The Reds could really use another good start from Cueto, who has yet to allow more than three runs in any of his previous seven games. Taking this series tonight would already lock  a winning road trip out west, would  be very welcomed.

*It appears that Yankees SS Derek Jeter is headed to the disabled list with a calf strain. That means he won’t be chasing his 3,000th hit next week at Great American Ball Park

On to Cleveland, tough road trip

That wasn’t really the way the Reds would have liked to go into the longest, and potentially most difficult, road trip of the season.

It was a 5-3 loss to the Pirates to get swept in the two-game series. It was a 5-1 game after 7 1/2 innings when the Reds added one in the eighth and one in the ninth, but it never felt like one of those dazzling comebacks was in the air.

The Reds went 11-5 in a 16-game stretch against all NL Central clubs. If there is any good news for you the fan, the Pirates don’t return to Cincinnati again this season. The Reds don’t see them again in Pittsburgh until July 18-20.

Up next are 10 games in a row vs. two first place teams and a contender. If the Reds can get through Cleveland, Philadelphia and Atlanta and have a .500 trip, they should fly home happy when it’s over.

“It will be our toughest one all year, but I think we’ll be fine,” right fielder Jay Bruce said. “We’re playing well, so we just play our game and not worry about anything else, just take care of business.

Notes:

*Johnny Cueto looked brilliant over his first two starts but certainly had some difficulties at times today, especially in the second inning. During a 31-pitch inning, he reached a three-ball count to four of the six hitters faced and walked two.

*Still bothered by a head cold, Jay Bruce was hacking and coughing by his locker after the game. But the day off Wednesday did him some good. Bruce was the only Reds hitter to have a robust afternoon at the plate. He was 3-for-4 with a leadoff homer to right field in the second inning and a leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth.

*Ramon Hernandez’s 11-game hitting streak is over after a 0-for-4 game.

*Brandon Phillips has a season-high hitting streak of 10 games after his two-hit day.

*The Reds are 1-5 vs. the Pirates this season, but 19-7 vs. the rest of the NL Central.

*The Reds haven’t dropped consecutive games since May 1-3 vs. Florida and Houston.

Quotes:
“The day off helped me, I think, kind of get some energy back. But obviously we should have won. The Pirates have given us a tough time so far.” — Jay Bruce

“Aggressiveness is fine but at the same time, there are no outs and it’s 4-1. You’ve got to make that almost standing up. He’s trying to make something that just wasn’t the appropriate time trying to make it happen in that situation. Invariably, it seems like every time you get thrown out, the next guy gets a hit.” — Dusty Baker on Brandon Phillips getting thrown out at second base leading off the seventh trying to stretch for a double.

“[Cueto] had those three-ball counts and the ball was missing off the plate, kind of cutting on him. It was a tough ball for Brandon and the 3-2 count on Walker – this guy has been a thorn in our side big time. I don’t know what he’s hitting against us but it’s a ton. We have to figure a way to get him out. He’s the guy doing most of the damage.” — Baker on Cueto’s second inning.

“We just kind of waited him out today. He has tremendous stuff. He’s got a lot of pitches that have a lot of movement and we just kind of waited for our pitch. We know that he has a tendency to throw balls and go into long counts, so that was our gameplan – wait him out, wait for pitch we could handle, don’t swing at his pitches. It worked out.” — Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit on Cueto.

“Very big for us. We know every time we come in here and every time we play the Reds in general, it’s going to be a battle from first to ninth inning. It’s important for us not to let off the throttle when we get up and let games go that our in our grasp. ” — Pirates 2B Neil Walker, who was 2-for-4 with two doubles. Walker had a two-out, two-run double off Cueto in the fifth.

Cueto brilliant in debut

Since I need to make my way to the airport, I will keep this brief.

Johnny Cueto gave the Reds exactly what they hoped for today with six-plus scoreless innings for a 2-0 victory. Cueto allowed five hits and a walk with four strikeouts. He threw 102 pitches and was lifted after a leadoff single in the seventh since he was at his pitch limit.

With Homer Bailey back and Cueto back and both with nice starts, the Reds could really see what they’ve got going forward. Bronson Arroyo pitched great yesterday and Travis Wood was mostly solid — save for four walks — his last time out. Maybe I’m a dissenter to you, but I believe Edinson Volquez isn’t too far from finding his rhythm on a consistent basis. To me, his moments of brilliance are too good to think he can’t start clicking.
 

“We’re on a little bit of a roll now,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Hopefully we can get on a big roll if we can get everybody back. This is the team we slated to be the team. The other guys did a good job for them in their absence but these guys are my horses.”

Notes:

*Joey Votto’s on-base streak to start the season was ended at 33 games after he was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. That left him one shy of Dave Collins’ 1981 club record. Interestingly, Votto’s 41-game on-base streak last season was ended here as well on July 4 when he was ejected in the first inning for balls and strikes.

“You go through stretches where you miss. I’ve been missing lately. It will pass,” Votto said.

*For those wondering, Aroldis Chapman was up in the bullpen during the seventh inning jam and was intended to use against lefty hitter Kosuke Fukudome. Chapman wasn’t ready in time, however. And Sam LeCure walked Fukudome to load the bases, but he escaped the jam of his own making.

“We were thinking about him but he takes a long time to get loose,” Baker said of Chapman. “We have to give him a full inning to get loose. I called down and he wasn’t ready. We didn’t want to take a chance.”

*Jay Bruce was 2-for-3 today, making him 12-for-36 (.333) with four homers and eight RBIs over his last 10 games.

*Going back to last season, the Reds have won 12 of the last 15 games vs. the Cubs.

*Cueto and Nick Masset were both called for balks today. It was the first time that two balks were called on the team since it happened to Brandon Claussen and Brian Shackelford on 8/25/05 vs. the Nationals. That interesting nugget came from the Cubs media relations staff.

Quotes:

“That was a great outing by Cueto. We took him to his limit, I think. That’s why we got him. He was still throwing the ball well but you’ve got to remember that’s his first outing. That was awesome.” — Dusty Baker

“My fastball was landing where I wanted it. And I was happy with the location because my fastball was getting good location.” — Johnny Cueto

*
“We had the tough loss yesterday and to be able to bounce back from that and get a win today was great. Cueto came back and pitched outstanding. Our relievers did a great job also holding that lead. Not a lot of hits, but luckily the one I got was a homer and Ramon got the big hit early too.” — Drew Stubbs

“It might have been one of the best I’ve ever seen him throw, to be honest with you. He looked fantastic. He threw his breaking ball really well. It seemed like they were off balance the entire game. I’m really glad he came back after missing some time and threw so well today.” — Joey Votto on Cueto

*
****That’s it for me for a few days. I’m skipping Houston but resuming on Friday for the Cardinals series.

Cueto, Cairo return

Reds lineup vs. Cubs

Stubbs 8
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Hernandez 2
Cairo 5
Cueto 1

*
*To make room on the roster for Johnny Cueto, Carlos Fisher was optioned to Triple-A Louisville.

*
*SS Paul Janish (sprained right ankle) grabbed a bat and headed to the cage under the outfield bleachers. Earlier in the clubhouse, he saw some improvement since he was injured on Friday.

*

“I am going outside today and move around a little bit,” Janish said. “It is definitely better than it was but it’s still a little sore. I am obviously not playing today, but maybe tomorrow or the next couple of days, I’ll probably be at least in the realm to get back on it pretty good. It’s kind of encouraging because I thought it would be a few more days. We’ll be good.”

*
*Miguel Cairo, who has a sore right knee, is making his first start since April 30.

*
*If Joey Votto reaches base today, it will be 34 straight games to start the season and would tie himwith Dave Collins’ 1981 record to start the season.

*

3B Juan Francisco (left calf) was scheduled to leave today for a Minor League rehab assignment at Louisville.

*

*Several Reds players were opening boxes that contained their new pink bats for use on Mother’s Day and to recognize breast cancer awareness.

**
“I’m using it for my Mom,” Brandon Phillips said. “I’m using it for my Mom’s mom and for the all the moms in my family. It recognition for the moms out there, especially for breast cancer awareness also. I’m very privileged to use a pink bat and pink cleats also. It’s nice to be able to do something like this. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

*
“Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers,” said manager Dusty Baker as he put pink wristbands on his arms. “I made all my calls. My wife sent all the flowers and they thanked me. She even sent herself some. That’s a good wife, ain’t it?”

Reds lose, Cueto to pitch Sun.

It looks like changes are afoot to the rotation. Dusty Baker revealed tonight that Johnny Cueto will be activated to pitch on Sunday vs. the Cubs. He will replace Mike Leake.

That decision appeared to have been made before Leake was roughed up for seven runs over 3 2/3 innings for a 10-4 Reds loss to the last-place Astros

“We’ll probably move him to the bullpen,” Baker said. “We were trying to do that anyway. Remember, coming out of Spring Training, he was going to be the long man. He performed well in those other guys absence. Tonight was the first time he got whacked around in a while. You can’t exactly pick your nights when you get whacked around.”

“I’m ready. I’m pretty happy. I feel good,” said Cueto, who has been out since Spring Training with right biceps/triceps irritation.

Cueto was originally slated to get another rehab start at Class A Dayton Friday, but that has obviously been changed.

The rotation has a 5.56 ERA for the season and entered the night ranked 15th out of 16 NL teams. Before Cueto comes back, Homer Bailey returns on Thursday.

Notes:

*The Reds are under .500 for the first time this season at 14-15. It’s the first time they’ve been sub-.500 since 5/7/10.

*Since starting the season 5-0, the Reds are 3-9 in their last 12 home games.

*Joey Votto extended his reach safely streak to all 29 games this season by going 2-for-4 with a first-inning double and fourth inning single. His latter two at-bats brought two outs on a total of two pitches. Votto made the third out in the fifth on a fly ball to center field with runners on first and second. In the seventh with runners on the corners and two outs, he popped a first pitch to second base.

*That pop out was Votto’s first of this season and according to fangraphs.com, it was his first since he had two in 2009. He was also caught stealing second base in the fourth inning when his team was down 7-1.

“That wasn’t trying to do too much,” Baker said of the caught stealing. He thought he had a good jump and I green light certain guys who think they can get a good jump. It looks bad when you get thrown out, but sometimes you try to slow-walk a team by inching them back. It’s not like we had a whole bunch of offense going against Happ in the first place.”

*Incredible play by 2B Brandon Phillips…he made a third inning barehanded stop on Jason Burgeois and flipped the ball to first base between his legs for the out while on the move.

*Did anyone watch the Jonny Gomes piece on ESPN’s E:60 tonight? If so, how was it? Anything we didn’t already know before?

Quotes:

“That inning, I was leaving the ball over the middle and not getting ahead. I was getting 2-0 counts quite a bit. I just wasn’t attacking, getting ahead.” — Mike Leake on his fourth inning.

“I know I sound like a broken record, you just hate to keep going to your bullpen so early. It destroys you, but the bullpen is in decent shape. We had some guys give us some innings in there just to save us for tomorrow and the ensuing days.” — Dusty Baker

Renewing the rivalry

Reds lineup vs. Cardinals

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Renteria 6
Cairo 5
Hernandez 2
Volquez 1

*Scott Rolen is out of the lineup today because his surgically repaired left shoulder has been bothering him, and has also led to neck and back soreness. Rolen saw medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek Thursday morning had his shoulder X-rayed. He was given two injections to try and relieve the pain. An MRI on his neck showed no issues.

“I got to the point when I played Wednesday, I’m trying to figure out how to catch up to 87, 88 [mph]. I’m thinking ‘I’m trying to finish the game,’” Rolen said. “This is what I’m thinking. This is going the wrong way.”

Since his eight-game hitting streak ended on April 11, Rolen is batting .138 (4-for-29).

Rolen said it usually takes a couple of days to stop feeling sore from injections. It might put him out for this three-game series. But he didn’t rule out playing either.

“I think anything is feasible. I’m not sure where we are,” Rolen said.

Rolen missed most of 2005 with a torn left labrum in his shoulder. It took two surgeries to repair it but he’s continually had to monitor the shoulder and adjust his hitting style to play through it.

*Jared Burton is having arthroscopic surgery today to debride his right shoulder. Prognosis will come after the operation is done. It’s another bad break for someone who’s had health problems galore the past few seasons.

*Johnny Cueto’s second rehab start for Triple-A Louisville didn’t sound promising. He gave up eight runs, five earned runs on 9 hits over 1 2/3 innings with 2 walks, zero strikeouts and one home run. Louisville lost the game at Columbus, 19-3

*Homer Bailey is now slated to pitch for Louisville on Sunday vs. Toledo. His second rehab start was originally supposed to be today.

*The weather is iffy for tonight. Already had hail and thunderstorms earlier today after getting into town. Hearing a bunch of more storms could blow through later today. Guess we’ll see what happens.

Through the storm?

Reds lineup vs. Diamondbacks

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Hermida 7
Hanigan 2
Janish 6
Arroyo 1

 *Homer Bailey’s second rehab assignment start for Triple-A Louisville vs. Columbus has been pushed back from Friday. It could be either Saturday or Sunday now. Bailey, who has been on the DL with right shoulder impingment since late in Spring Training, was scheduled to throw his side bullpen session today but pushed that back as well.

“I was just a little tired, a little tight,” Bailey said. “Instead of throwing a bullpen like that, it’s better off waiting a day or so.”

That means it’s unlikely Bailey would be ready for that April 27 start at Milwaukee, which was a loose target date. During his first start for Louisville on Sunday vs. Indianapolis, Bailey threw five scoreless innings with two hits and one walk while striking out two. He threw 62 pitches, up from the 37 he had throw the previous outing at extended spring in Goodyear.

“I was doubling the pitch count. Just the one or two extra days [rest] will go a long way,” Bailey said.

The club had no concerns about Bailey in the big picture.

“To not have any setbacks and give him a couple of days is worth it,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We know we need Homer. We know we need Cueto. We need them both. But you can’t rush them and have something happening to them and you don’t have them for an extended period of time. We have to fight our way through where we are now and let their normal course of healing take its course.”

*Johnny Cueto is still on target to make his second rehab start for Louisville on Thursday.

*One of the reasons Jonny Gomes is not in the lineup is his 0-for-5 with three strikeouts career mark vs. Arizona starter Ian Kennedy.

 *Temperatures are about 30 degrees cooler from last night after some seriously nasty storms moved through. I hope everyone came out of that OK.

*Of course, the Reds are trying to work their way out of a different type of storm these days. So far, it’s a 1-4 homestand and 8 losses in the last 12 games.

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