Bucs 13, Reds 8: The Cueto Report
Johnny Cueto made his first start and was as billed. He threw strikes. His line: 3 IP, 1 hit, no runs, no walks, 4 strikeouts. Very, very impressive.
"That kid's got some (stuff)," Ken Griffey Jr. said. "Some other guys are going to turn it up, especially somebody wearing No. 34. Competition is a good thing."
Homer Bailey is No. 34.
The rest of the Reds pitchers weren't so good. The Pirates ended up pounding the Reds 13-8, breaking the three-game wininng streak.
But Cueto was the story. Javier Valentin translated for Johnny Cueto but was asked his opinion of Cueto's best pitch. He said his change-up.
"If you have that kind of change-up, welcome to the big leagues," Valentin said.
"He's the next Pedro Martinez."
Cueto was pitching at 93-94. But he hit 97 at least once. His slider was 83-87, and his out pitch, the change-up, was in the 70s.
Here's a little of Cueto, through Valentin.
When asked if he expects to start in the big leagues...
“Yeah, that’s why I’m here,” Cueto said. “If I have the chance to start the
season in the big leagues, I’m going to. And if I’ll play, I’ll be happy.”
Did you do anything different today?
“I feel good, I feel comfortable. I tried some stuff. I didn’t to anything
specific to impress, to prove to anybody. I threw the way I’m used to throwing.”
What have you learned from Francisco Cordero and Mario Soto?
“I’m working low, strike zone low, and that’s what Mario and Cordero talk to me
Did you reach your pitch limit today?
“No. I stayed short.”
Cueto threw 15 more pithes in the bullpen to get his work in.
Richie Gardner got lit up in the fourth. He only retired one batter and was charged with seven runs. Scott Sauerbeck was other big victim. He gave up four runs.
Cueto's first: Nate McLouth: Called strike, foul, taken third strike. Jack Wilson: Foul ball, ball, swinging strike. 5-3. Freddie Sanchez: Ball, foul, taken strike, punch single to right. Jason Bay: Called strike, ball, flyout to left. 14 pitches/11 strikes.
The Pirates started John Van Benschoten, the right-hander from Milford and Kent State. Not a good start for him. Scott Hatteberg singled, Ken Griffey Jr. walked, and Brandon Phillips hit a home run.
Second inning from Cueto was more on the same. Adam LaRoche broke his bat on a first pitch groundout. Ronny Paulino and Steve Pearce each struck out. 12 pitches, eight strikes.
Cueto's third: Neil Walker strikeout swinging. Luis Rivas 4-3. McLouth soft liner to 3. 11 pitches, seven strikes.
It was 82 degrees at first pitch, but it's extremely windy. The forecast for the second game tonight is not good.