The Cincinnati Reds own one of the best starters’ ERAs in
baseball, and now they’re welcoming back Johnny Cueto.
The right-hander will be activated off the disabled list to make
his first start in more than a month when the Reds open a
three-game road set against the New York Mets on Monday night.
Cincinnati starters have pitched to an ERA of 3.20, with 14 2-3
straight scoreless innings heading into this contest.
Cueto (1-0, 2.60 ERA) hasn’t started since April 13 due to a
strained right lat. He yielded one run over eight innings in two
rehab starts at Class A Dayton.
The injury-plagued pitcher says his injury is similar to the one
he had in 2011, when he changed his delivery.
“I’m going to have to see what’s going on,” Cueto told the Reds’
official website. “If that continues to happen, I’m going to have
to make some changes in my mechanics.”
Cueto had been 0-3 with a 6.58 ERA in five starts versus the
Mets (17-24) before yielding one run over seven innings of a 3-1
victory June 17, his lone start of last season against them.
Rick Ankiel is 7 for 16 against Cueto while Marlon Byrd is 6 for
11. Ankiel has gone 6 for 20 with two homers in six games since
joining the Mets last Monday.
Cincinnati went 6-2 against New York last year as Jay Bruce and
Todd Frazier combined for seven homers and 14 RBIs – 10 by
Bruce enters with two notable hitting streaks of 10 games,
batting .390 with four homers and 12 RBIs during an overall run and
.349 with 11 RBIs during another on the road.
Joey Votto is also surging, going 17 for 33 in an eight-game hit
streak and 28 for 56 during a 14-game run on the road. He leads the
major leagues with 37 walks and an on-base percentage of .473, with
teammate Shin-Soo Choo not far behind in those departments (31
walks, .463 OBP).
Votto is 5 for 9 against the Mets’ Shaun Marcum (0-4, 6.75), who
has dropped all four starts this season after losing four times in
21 outings with Milwaukee in 2012.
Marcum has limited the Reds to a .213 average in four starts,
but he’s allowed opponents to bat .341 this year. The right-hander,
who visited a chiropractor the day before his last outing Wednesday
in St. Louis, has failed to last past the fifth inning three
The Mets have scored more than four runs once in their last 13
home games, with three or fewer in seven straight. Daniel Murphy
went 14 for 28 during a 3-4 road trip, delivering a go-ahead solo
homer in the eighth inning of a 4-3 win over the Cubs on
”I feel like I’m taking better swings,” Murphy said. ”I feel
better with my swing. I’m also getting better pitches to hit.”
The Reds entered the weekend as winners of six straight before
losing two of three in Philadelphia. Closer Aroldis Chapman allowed
back-to-back solo homers to blow his second straight save chance in
a 3-2 defeat Sunday.
“An unfortunate ending, stunning, but that’s the game,” manager
Dusty Baker said.