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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cueto Dodges Los Angeles Bats


Johnny Cueto's 112 pitches were very effective and made the Dodgers bluer than they normally are. The Reds, Cueto and four relievers shutout the Dodgers 5-0.

Cueto retired the first nine batters in order before Dee Gordon slapped a single to center.  Cueto picked him off first. He faced the minimum 15 batters through five innings, striking out 10 of those batters.

Miguel Rojas and Drew Butera opened the sixth with singles but Cueto struck out Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and ended his night by fanning Chone Figgins to end his sixth and final innings.

The last time Ryu and Cueto hooked up.  Ryu had a perfect game through seven innings. Todd Frazier opened the eighth with a double  Cueto pitched 6 2/3 innings.  The Dodgers managed just one earned run off him but errors led to three unearned runs.

This time the Reds offense gave the 6-5 pitcher some help.

Joey Votto produced dividends in his second game back from the disabled list.  Ryu walked Billy Hamilton and Frazier with two outs in the third.  Votto doubled them home and scored on a single by Brandon Phillips.

Jay Bruce hit his fifth home run of the season off Ryu in the sixth.

Cueto left after six innings and 112 pitches. He struck out 12 tying his career high and dropped his ERA to 1.85 retaking the National League lead from Julio Teheran of the Atlanta Braves.  Teheran has given up six runs in 5 1/3 innings in Colorado.

"It was a battle for Johnny," Bryan Price said. "They fouled off a lot of pitches on him. Our bullpen was ready and they are terrific. They do everything they can to be available for every game.

Cueto wanted to stay in.

"I went to Price and asked him for another inning. He said I had too many pitches. He knows what he is doing," Cueto said.  "Getting the runs was big. I said to myself, I need to tighten up.  These are the innings they come after me."

Brayan Pena, Cueto's personal catcher, would have done the same thing.

"To be honest with you I would have done the same thing.  He (Price) made the right decision. Our bullpen has been throwing the ball good. Johnny did his job. Everytime out he gives us a chance to win.  That's why we call him "Johnny Beisbol'."

The Dodgers tried to get back in the game.  Cueto's replacement, Logan Ondrusek, struck out Yasiel Puig but Adrain Gonzalez doubled.  Ondrusek walked Scott Van Slyke, who replaced  Matt Kemp after the latter was ejected. Bryan Price brought Manny Parra from the bullpen to face Andre Ethier.  Either blooped a single to load the bases.

Price went to former Dodger Jonathan Broxton.  Dodger manager Don Mattingly countered with Hanley Ramirez.  Ramirez was in the original lineup but was scratched with irritation in his right AC joint.  Ramirez hit a smash to short that Zack Cozart caught on a short hop.  Cozart flipped to Phillips, who leaped to make a throw that completed an inning ending double play.

Cozart opened the seventh with a single off Paul Maholm, then stole second as Chris Heisey struck out. Billy Hamilton singled to score Cozart.

Aroldis Chapman struck out two batters to complete the game in a non-save situation.

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