The supergrover Memorial Honorary superplayer of the Game
Johnny Cueto dominated the Cubs in a way you'd expect a pitcher with his talents to dominate a lineup with the Cubs', umm, "talents." Cueto's day ended after 8 innings today, and he left having tossed a gem: 0 runs, 3 hits, 3 Ks, 2 BB, on 113 pitches, and he contributed at the plate for good measure, going 1 for 2 with a sacrifice bunt. That's domination, amigos and amigas, and it's to the point where we are no longer surprised to see it happen. It's safe to say that if the only two pitchers used in a Reds game are Cueto and Aroldis Chapman, the other team never really had a chance.
Honorable mention is due to Jay Bruce, who came off sabbatical to launch his 22nd homer of the season, as well as Ryan Ludwick, who continued his career renaissance with his 21st blast of the season. Here's a topic of conversation: who will (and, who should) finish higher in this season's MVP voting...Votto, or Ludwick?
- It was smooth sailing through calm waters early on for both starting pitchers, as the first 15 batters of the game were retired and no one from either team so much as reached second base until the 5th. The Reds, of course, claimed that honor thanks to Bruce, whose 2 run Return of the Dragon scored Todd Frazier, who had broken up Brooks Raley's no-no attempt. Reds led, 2-0.
- Ryan Ludwick took a high, hanging slider from Raley out to Left in the top of the 6th, putting the Reds ahead 3-0. Cueto scattered his few baserunners and got some excellent timely defense from his middle infielders before giving way for Aroldis Chapman for the 9th. Chapman uncharacteristically allowed a single to the HMS Beagle, but came back to make Soriano look silly on a slider and retire the Cubs. Reds win, 3-0!
- Drew Stubbs did a very solid job of re-pumpkining during the 4 game Cubs series, going 2 for 19 with 8 Ks, and is 3 for his last 28 with 12 Ks. I'd page Chris Heisey, but I don't think he can hear me from the trunk of Dusty's Cadillac.
- Miguel Cairo is 3 for his last 18...and that's raised his season average to .157. Today's double got his season OPS back over .400. Yuck.
- Cueto's win was his 15th on the season, tying him with R.A. Dickey for the NL lead and Jered Weaver, David Price, and Dickey for the MLB lead. The last Reds pitcher to lead the league outright in wins in a non-strike shortened season was Ewell Blackwell in 1947 (with 22 wins).
- This will ensure that this recap has popcorn. This will let you in on where Jay-Z gets his hooks. And this...well, I just like it a bunch.
- The Reds have an off-day tomorrow before opening up a series at GABP against the Mets. Mat Latos will take the hill for the good guys Tuesday, with the game set to start at 7:10 EST.