It's been more than 100 years since any starting pitcher has had a better start to a season than Reds ace Johnny Cueto. With his outing in Thursday's 5-0 victory over the Padres in the first game of a doubleheader at Great American Ball Park, Cueto became the first pitcher since 1909 to start the season appearing in at least seven innings while allowing two or fewer runs in his first nine starts of the season. The last player to do it was the immortal Harry Krause of the Philadelphia Athletics, who started the season with 10 such starts. Cueto made it nine on Thursday, throwing his third complete game of the season and second shutout, giving up just three hits to the Padres, striking out eight and walking two. "That guy -- he needs to start getting some national attention," Reds shortstop Zack Cozart said. "I was watching TV the other day and they were still talking about (Zach) Greinke and (Clayton) Kershaw and (Jose) Fernandez -- and I was like, 'what about Johnny C., you know?' That guy never leaves anything over the plate to drive, he's always on the corners. Since I've been in the big leagues, he's probably pitching better than anybody I've seen." If baseball's best offense -- Colorado -- looked a little less than confident against Cueto in his last start, baseball's worst offense -- the Padres -- had no chance. San Diego didn't get a runner to second until Cueto had already recorded 26 outs -- as Will Venable advanced on indifference after walking with two outs in the ninth. It didn't bother Cueto, who got Everth Cabrera to ground out weakly back to the mound to end the game after 116 pitches.
Johnny Cueto lifts Reds to 5-0 win vs. Padres
Cincinnati Enquirer | May 15