The taunts of “Cue-to, Cue-to,” were meant to rattle the Reds’ ace into repeating his faltering start in October’s Wild Card Game that included Cueto accidentally dropping a ball while on the mound.
“Yes, I heard it. All I can do is just laugh,” Cueto said via translator. “That’s their job, the fans doing that. It’s part of the past.”
“It feels good when you throw good against the same team the way I did,” Cueto said. “All of my pitches were down. Everything was down and everything was under control except for a few pitches I could not control.”
Edinson Volquez the starter for the Pirates tonight, was Cueto’s best friend on the Reds from 2008-11, gave up only the two runs and five hits over seven innings with one walk, a hit batter and three strikeouts.
“We’re really good friends, but he has to do his job and I have to do mine,” Cueto said. “Thank God I won that battle against him.”
“The ball was close to the line. He had to make a good throw because I had momentum,” said Pena, who also caught Cueto’s previous start. “I was trying to get something going. They called me out. No disrespect to anybody, but I didn’t feel his glove at all.”
“We were in a little cat-and-mouse game there with the pitcher up, we had [Sean] Marshall in the bullpen and [Roger] Bernadina so we weren’t sure if they would pitch to Zack,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “That’s a real tough spot to be in. You know they can pitch you tough hitting in the eighth spot with the pitcher on deck or a pinch-hitter. Volquez did. He made some really good pitches to him. Zack hit one of those good pitches down the line for the double and it ended up being a huge impact play for us.”
“It was consistent with what he was doing all night, and that was getting ground balls,” Price said. “It was absolutely huge because they were getting ready to turn that lineup over again and we got the double play. It really set things up nicely for the ninth.”
“Johnny has done some really great things for himself as a young pitcher in this league and he’s still a young pitcher,” Price said.