Reds lose 19-game winner Johnny Cueto to injury
Johnny Cueto warned the Cincinnati Reds after his warmup that he
had experienced a sharp pain on the right side of his back when he
made his final two throws in the bullpen.
Cueto lasted just eight pitches after that. He left his Game 1
start against San Francisco on Saturday night in the first inning
because of back spasms, then the Reds hung on to beat the Giants
5-2 behind their stellar bullpen.
”I feel really proud about my team. I feel proud about the
pitchers,” Cueto said. ”They all came in and did their job.”
The Reds said he is day to day. The right-hander threw a second
strike to No. 2 hitter Marco Scutaro and walked off the mound in
obvious pain. A trainer and manager Dusty Baker rushed out to check
on him, and the 19-game winner came out moments later.
Now, the Reds hope to get him back this series. Cueto wants to
see how he responds Sunday.
”I really feel better right now,” Cueto said after the game.
”This is my first time it happened.”
He retired leadoff man Angel Pagan on a strikeout. During the
at-bat, Pagan stepped out of the batter’s box and was granted time.
Cueto apparently didn’t see it and continued his motion, but Baker
said pitching coach Bryan Price had alerted him to Cueto’s
The Reds turned to winning pitcher Sam LeCure and got four
innings of relief from Mat Latos on three days’ rest for the first
time in his career, followed by three more relievers.
Cueto threw eight pitches and six strikes for the earliest
postseason exit by a starter since Atlanta’s John Thomson lasted
one-third of an inning in Game 3 of a 2004 NL division series
against Houston. Thomson came out with a sore muscle in his left
”When Johnny went down, I was like: `Gosh, oh no, we’re done.
Why? Why? Why?”’ Brandon Phillips said. ”We’re out there talking,
and we’re like, `Let’s win this for Johnny.”’