So he wasn’t the Johnny Cueto we’re used to watching. In fact, you wouldn’t be wrong in saying that the Reds ace struggled in his return to a big league mound.
In 5 innings, Cueto allowed three runs (all on a Marlon Byrd three-run homer) on three hits. He did walk 4 Mets, but he did manage to whiff 8 of them.
The Good Guys got on the board in the game’s 1st inning. Brandon Phillips drove in two on a single. BP would score on a Jay Bruce double to stake Cueto to an early 3-0 lead. Usually, three runs can be enough when Cueto is on the mound, but not this evening.
In the Mets first, Cueto walked Rick Ankiel and Marlon Byrd. In between the free passes, Lucas Duda singled. The bases were loaded with two outs after the Byrd walk, but Cueto coaxed a ground out from Ike Davis.
Cueto walked John Buck to lead off the Mets 2nd. That walk would not come back to haunt him. The following innings was a little different. Ankiel began the inning with a single and Cueto would issue yet another walk, this time to David Wright. After striking out Duda, Byrd took Cueto’s first pitch and deposited it into the left field seats.
Tied up at 3-3. Cueto settled in and retired the final 8 batters he faced with 6 going by way of the whiff.
The deciding blow of the game came in the top of the 6th. Mets starter Shaun Marcum had settled in after the 1st inning and the only other threat the Reds had created was in the previous inning when Cincy got the first two men on base, but Marcum worked out of the jam.
Heading into the 6th, Marcum had thrown 94 pitches. Pitch #95 to Jay Bruce would be a pitch Marcum would like to have back. (WATCH)
Dusty had to use the pen in this one as he carted out 5 relievers including a bounce back effort from Aroldis Chapman who pitched the 9th for his 9th save of 2013.
W:Cueto (2-0), L:Marcum (0-5), SV:Chapman (9)
HR: CIN: Bruce (6), NYM: Byrd (4)
- To make room for Cueto on the 25-man, the Reds optioned Neftali Soto to Louisville
- Joey Votto, fresh off being named NL Player of the Week, extended his hitting streak to 9 games with a single in the 1st.
- Speaking of streaks, BP is on one, too. With his 1st inning single, he has now produced a hit in 8 straight games.