Reds 6, Phillies 1
This just in: Johnny Cueto's good.
He went four innings against Phillies and allowed a hit, a walk, hit a batter and struck out two. 49 pitches, 33 strikes.
He worked out of a jam -- thanks to a Ryan Howard double play -- after giving up a single and hitting a batter in the sixth. That was the only trouble he get in. He faced the minimum nine batters in the seventh, eighth and ninth.
He faced the heart of the Phillies' order twice. He retired Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell a second time to close out the game.
Cueto's up to nine innings this spring. He's allowed one run on six hits. He's walked one and struck out eight.
I see no way he doesn't make the rotation.
Dusty Baker gushed a bit about Cueto before the game. He said he didn't spend a lot of time reading reports on the Cueto before spring training.
“I read but I scanned,” Baker said. “I didn’t want to be persuaded one way or other, so I didn’t really study, study. . . I’m not distrusting of reports; it’s just I trust my own eyes more.”
So what do his eyes tell him?
“Same thing yours tell you,” Baker said.
That is to say Cueto has off-the-chart stuff.
“I’ve had some really good people tell me about Cueto – guys from other organizations who had nothing to gain by telling me what they told me,” Baker said.
Cueto has looked extremely good.
“Spring ain’t over,” Baker said. “Just pitch, son, that’s all. No pressure, no expectations. Just pitch.
“I’ve got some expectations. I ain’t going to tell him yet. That comes later. Next year or two years.”
Back to the Phillies game:
Jerry Hairston went deep in the third to make it 1-0.
The Phillies tied it in the third with three straight two-out singles off Bronson Arroyo.
Scott Hatteberg untied it in the fourth by following Corey Patterson's second infield hit of the game with a home run to right. Hatteberg came in hitting .375 this spring.
Bronson Arroyo's line: 4 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts.
"I feel good," Arroyo said. "I'm ahead of where I was last year at this point. i fell like I've got life on fastball like I'd have at the end of April."
Bill Bray followed Arroyo and worked a scoreless inning in his spring debut. He allowed a hit and struck out one.
"It went pretty well," Bray said. "I felt good. No pain, that's biggest thing."
Craig Tatum made it 5-1 with a two-run homer in the seventh.