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Game 50: Reds @ Pirates (7:05 EDT). Cueto vs. Burnett.

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Cincinnati Reds
@ Pittsburgh Pirates

Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 7:05 PM EDT
PNC Park

Johnny Cueto vs A.J. Burnett

Coverage

TV: FSO-HD, ROOT-HD; RADIO: WLW, KDKA, WLLF (OH); WEB: MLB.tv, Gameday Audio, Gameday

Weather

Clear. Winds blowing out to center field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 70.

Complete Coverage >


The Reds seem to be getting stops from their starting pitchers whenever they need it. That's a major difference between this year and last - the bullpen isn't digging itself into an early hole. More importantly, the team is building an early lead.

May has been unkind to Cueto. He's allowed 20 more total bases this month than in April (over one less batter faced). It's really just been his last three games that have backed his season away from "best" to "very good." In those three outings (ATL, NYY, COL), he's allowed twice as many earned runs (12) as he had in the other 7 games he pitched.

To pare it down even more, the games against Atlanta and Colorado are the only two starts Cueto has made where he's given up more than 3 earned runs, while going less than 6.1 innings. Those two teams rank 2nd (COL) and 3rd (ATL) in runs scored in the National League. It bears mentioning that Cueto held the top-scoring offense in the NL to one run over 7 innings.

All else being equal, Cueto may be more vulnerable than a high strikeout pitcher to potent offenses. But he keeps the ball in the park and free passes to a minimum. Sometimes good offenses get to good pitchers and, with a contact pitcher, might have an easier time stringing their hits together in one inning. I'd say all we've learned from two rough outings is that Cueto probably isn't going to have a 1.12 ERA all season.

One more bit I didn't know what to do with: Cueto's ERA is 0.56 over two games where he's had 6+ run support. His opponent is AJ "Let's see if there's an NL Central Bump" Burnett.

Go Reds!

Johnny Cueto
Stats AJ Burnett
2.53 (157)
ERA (ERA+) 4.19 (90)
1.250
WHIP 1.349
2.930
K/BB 3.25
3.63
FIP 3.30
3.98
xFIP 2.98
3.95
SIERA 3.02
64.0
IP 43.0

LINEUPS

REDS (28-21)
Zack Cozart (R) SS
Drew Stubbs (R) CF
Jay Bruce (L) RF
Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
Chris Heisey (R) LF
Todd Frazier (R) 3B
Mike Costanzo (L) 1B
Ryan Hanigan (R) C
Johnny Cueto (R) P

PIRATES (24-25)

Jose Tabata (R) LF
Jordy Mercer (R) SS
Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
Neil Walker (S) 2B
Garrett Jones (L) RF
Matt Hague (R) 1B
Rod Barajas (R) C
A.J. Burnett (R) P

Bullpen Log

Reliever 5/25 5/26 5/27 5/28 5/29 5 day totals
Aroldis Chapman 1.2, 25p Hey,
1.2 IP, 25 pitches
Sean Marshall 1.0, 15p Homer
1.0 IP, 15 pitches
Logan Ondrusek 1.0, 16p Bailey
1.0 IP, 16 pitches
Jose Arredondo 1.0, 29p 0.0, 12p pitched
1.0 IP, 41 pitches
Sam LeCure 2.0, 24p a
2.0 IP, 24 pitches
J.J. Hoover 1.1, 17p 1.1, 20p 1.0, 17p complete
3.2 IP, 54 pitches
Alfredo Simon 2.0, 26p 3.0, 39p game
5.0 IP, 65 pitches