Reds still undecided on Cueto if there’s Game 4
Johnny Cueto’s bad back left the Cincinnati Reds unsure who
would start Game 4 if their playoff against the San Francisco
Giants goes that far.
The Reds’ 19-game winner had to leave the first inning of the
divisional series opener Saturday because of back spasms. Mat Latos
and the bullpen took over and pulled off a 5-2 win.
The Reds took the first two games in San Francisco, leaving them
one win from advancing to the NL championship series. They got
their first chance to do it Tuesday night at Great American Ball
Park, with Homer Bailey going against Ryan Vogelsong.
If San Francisco wins, manager Dusty Baker will have another
difficult choice. He said Tuesday it was unclear whether Cueto
would be able to throw.
If Cueto is hurt, the Reds have a few options. They could
replace him on the division series roster with right-hander Mike
Leake, who was left off. That would leave Cueto unavailable to
pitch during the league championship series if the Reds make it
”We’re seeing if we can avoid it because he wouldn’t be
available the next series,” Baker said. ”But if it’s unavoidable,
that’s something different. We’re weighing our options right
The other option is to lean on the bullpen again. They could
bring Latos back on short rest again, though that’s not an
Baker planned to meet with Cueto, team trainers, general manager
Walt Jocketty and pitching coach Bryan Price to make a decision
later in the day.
”We’ve got to talk about it, see how Johnny is,” Baker said.
”A lot of guys would be on less than full rest (if they use the
bullpen for Game 4). We hope we don’t have to talk about it at all.
But you know it’s going to be a tough game today. You’re taking the
last breath out of somebody.”
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