The season has only just started, but Reds ace Johnny Cueto
and his lineup have already been like two ships passing in the night. Once again on Friday vs. the Rays, Cueto delivered a solid seven-inning outing only to find an offense unable to support him.
Cueto gave up two earned runs and five hits over seven innings, with four walks and six strikeouts. Over 21 innings, he’s allowed five earned runs for a 2.14 ERA, but he remains winless. Cincinnati has scored a total of one run when Cueto has been on the mound this season.
“That’s something I can’t control,” Cueto said via translator. “That’s up to the other part of the team. I always say I have to do my job. I have to throw seven, eight innings. I have to do my job and they have to do their job.”
“We’ve matched up with good pitching. In the end, we keep being the team on the losing end of it,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “You just hate to waste good pitching.”
“We’re human beings. Pitchers act like that,” Cueto said. “We have a body language, and maybe he doesn’t like it. You have to be careful you don’t show it to the umpire, but you know what? That’s the way it is. The umpire is the one who knows if it’s a ball or strike.”
Cueto got it together and gave up only two singles, including one blooper, and a walk the rest of the night, and he retired eight of his last nine batters to end at 119 pitches.
“At first, I didn’t feel like I was ready,” Cueto said. “I felt too slow, too down on myself. I don’t want to say I was tired, but I was kind of tired. Then after that, everything clicked in and that was good.”
The Reds have now lost seven of their first 10 games.
“Unfortunately, we’ve wasted some good pitching here,” Price said. “We got another great start from Johnny. It’s just unfortunate we haven’t been able to win those games. He’s given us three chances to win, and we haven’t won a single game.”