A night after an impressive outing by Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake Tuesday’s starter Johnny Cueto was somehow even more impressive.
Johnny Cueto (1-2) picked up his first win of the season Tuesday following his seventh career complete game. Cueto pitched a 3 hit shutout in front 17,000 in attendance at GABP for the businessman’s special. Cueto went 9IP, 3 H, 12K, his 12 strike outs was a career high for the right hander.
Combined with Cueto’t dominant outing was another impressive display by the Reds offense. In the first inning with runners on first and third base Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano threw a wild pitch allowing Billy Hamilton to score from third and advancing Joey Votto to second.
Votto would reemerge in the 7th inning hitting a home run to right center scoring Billy Hamilton giving the Reds a 3-0 lead. Since moving to the two spot in the line up Votto has gone 8 for 17, 3 home runs and 4 walks. The move by Bryan Price was met with skepticism although it appears to have paid off.
In the 8th inning Brayan Pena hit a deep double to right field scoring Chris Heisey giving the Reds a 4-0 lead. In the same inning Zach Cozart hit into a fielders choice to the shortstop. Instead of going for the out at first the shortstop went home. Roger Bernadina was running for home, he slid into the plate that was completely blocked by Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez. The new MLB catchers rule states that a catcher can not block the plate if he does not have the ball. Sanchez clearly did not have the ball as Bernadina started his slide into him. As Bernadina slid into Sanchez, that is when Sanchez received the ball. The home plate umpire called Bernadina out at home.
The play was ultimately reviewed after complaints by Price and Bernadina. Upon review the umpires upheld the call. The new rule is unfair for the runner. If Bernadina were to plow into Sanchez, which likely would have resulted in a run, he is out for hitting the catcher. If he doesn’t do that, and slides in like he did then he is out because how do you determine what blocking the plate is? Bernadina was not happy following the game “I feel like they stole a run from me, I had no place to go.” Price was equally as mad following the game.
What the Reds should be happy about is the fact that the Reds have now won 2 games in a row, they won their first series of the season and they have figured out how to manufacture runs.
Brayan Pena has continued to impress this season, his 2 hits on Tuesday helped to move his batting average to .320. A questionable off season signing has proved to be beneficial so far. Billy Hamilton had a good day, 1 hit and 1 walk resulted in 2 stolen bases for the speedy rookie. Hamilton is turning it around.
The Reds (6-9) travel to Chicago Thursday to face the Chicago Cubs (4-9) in a weekend series.