Reds’ Cueto Pitches Complete Game as Bucs Fall, 6-1

Outfielder Nate McLouth scored the lone run off Cueto.

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — The Cincinnati Reds Johnny Cueto proved his sub two ERA to be legit on Friday night at PNC Park. Over the last two seasons, Cueto’s 2.15 ERA has lead the Major Leagues (with a minimum of of 150 innings pitched) as the right-hander tossed his fifth complete game in the Pirates’ 6-1 loss in Pittsburgh.

The Pirates were only able to score one run off  Cueto, who entered game action with just a 1.38 ERA this season. The Reds right-hander pitched all nine frames while holding the Bucs to just one run and scattering seven hits.

“We’ve seen him before. We saw him last year at the end of the season since he’s implemented this new little tuck. We haven’t had much of any [success] against him in a while,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. “Command of all his pitches. The fastball has good finish. That slider’s tight and sharp with depth. The changeup anytime to left-handers. He’s very confident out there. We’re not the first team that he kind of buzzed in. He came in with a [1.38] ERA. The numbers are legit. We’ll have to find an answer to him the next time we see him.”

Despite pitching up against a tough righty, Pirates starter Kevin Correia knew he wouldn’t have much margin for error, but that wasn’t his focus on the mound.

“He’s had some success against us,” Correia said. “He was one of the best pitchers in the National League last year. You know you don’t have the luxury to give up a bunch of runs, but when it comes down to it, I’m pitching against their lineup. I’m not really worried about the other guys who’s against me. I’m trying to give up less runs no matter who it is. He was good tonight.”

The lone run off Cueto came in the bottom of the fourth. Nate McLouth led off the inning with an infield single to third base and Neil Walker followed by hitting a single into right field to put runners on the corners. Pedro Alvarez hit a sac fly to left field to cut the Reds’ lead at the time to 2-1. The Pirates attempted to tie the game up at 2 after Clint Barmes hit a double down the left field line but Garrett Jones was thrown out at home.

Right-hander Kevin Correia allowed five runs on nine hits over 7.0 innings in his fifth start of the season. He walked one and struck out three while throwing 107 pitches, 71 for strikes. For the first time this season, Correia allowed more than two earned runs in a start.

“He went out there and gave up what we needed,” Hurdle said. “We were short in the bullpen. He gave up seven innings. Yeah, we’d like to have a couple pitches back…They finished with three homers in the seventh and eighth innings. Too much distance for us to cover tonight.”

After pitching an eight pitch first inning with a leadoff strikeout, Correia gave up the first of his five runs in the second inning. Jay Bruce hit a double that rolled to the wall in right field. After advancing to third on a ground out, Bruce scored on a squeeze play by Chris Heisey. On an 0-2 pitch with two outs, Heisey laid down a perfect bunt single that pitcher Kevin Correia couldn’t field in time for the out and enabled the Reds to take a 1-0 lead.

“I don’t think it was a safety squeeze, I think he was bunting for a base hit and got the run in,” Hurdle said. “Excellent baseball play. No defense for it. He put it in the perfect spot. Plus the guy can run…It’s a gutsy play.”

With two outs, nonetheless, Hurdle said he was surprised.

“Absolutely,” Hurdle said. “This guy, he swings, he grips it and rips it. It’s just a good baseball play.”

The Reds plated a second run off Correia with two outs in the fourth. Chris Heisey hit a triple off the wall in left field. The play was reviewed by umpire’s after Manager Dusty Baker challenged the play. It missed just inches of being a solo-home run. Cincinnati got a run anyway, as Ryan Hanigan followed by ripping a RBI double just fair down the left field line.

Correia allowed a third run his next inning of work. Zack Cozart picked up his first hit to start the fifth inning, a single to left. The rookie shortstop scored on a two-out RBI single into center by Brandon Phillips.

Back-to-back home runs came off Correia in the seventh and final inning. Cozart’s came on a 3-1 fastball to left, while Drew Stubbs took the first pitch for a long ball into the deepest part of the ballpark in right center field.

“It was a 3-1 pitch that got out,” Correia said. “With the guys that they have behind them, hitting three, four, five, I had to throw a strike. He got it. It wasn’t a great pitch location-wise at all. The next pitch, was just a bad pitch. He hit it out.”

“That one fastball was just flat,” Hurdle said. “Stayed right there over the plate. The changeup he just stuck it. He put two pitches up there. He didn’t miss them.”

Right-hander Chris Resop came on for relief in the eighth inning and gave up a leadoff long ball to Jay Bruce on an 0-1 pitch to right center. It marked the third home run the Reds hit off the Bucs in the 6-1 loss.

Game Notes:

  • Relief –Chris Resop: 2.0IP, 3H, R, 3BB, K, HR
  • With the 6-1 loss, the Pirates fall to 11-15 on the season, while the Reds improve to 13-12.
  • Pedro Alvarez led off the second inning with a single into right field to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
  • Nate McLouth got the start in center field for Andrew McCutchen, who is still recovering from the flu. McLouth went 2-for-4 scoring the club’s lone run.
Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Bedard Strikes Out 11 and Alvarez Homers in 6-3 Win Over Cardinals

Next Story »

Another Strong Outing from McDonald in Pirates 3-2 Win

  • Kevin_Creagh

    When I saw that Cueto was pitching on Friday night, I marked it down as a loss.  He leases, with an option to buy, the Pirates during his career.

    Cueto v. Pirates in his career (before last night): 10-3, 2.70 ERA, 90 IP, 71 H, 29 BB, 91 K
    Those numbers will only get better as a result of last night.

    Cueto is one of those pitchers I would love to have on my team.  I followed his thru the Reds’ minor league system with envy.  The key for Cueto was learning the changeup grip from Mario Soto while in the minors, he has said.

    Interesting item about Cueto — In his first 4 full seasons (2008-2011), his ERA, H/9, BB/9, and HR/9 have all dropped each consecutive year.  Strangely, though, so has his K/9 from 8.2/9 his rookie year to 6.0/9 last year.  He’s become a pitcher instead of a thrower.

    • white angus

      do you believe Cueto’s new windup to be a future issue for him or can he sustain his success?  if any of his mechanics get out of whack, his numbers would almost certainly rise.

      • Kevin_Creagh

        I’m not sure if it’s the new windup, but his FB velocity is down 1.5 mph from last year. 

        Cueto strikes me as a guy who will be crafty and adapt to have a pretty decently long career.

Latest Analysis

  • Arquimedes Caminero

    Breaking Down the Final Pirates Roster Battles After Today’s Cuts

    11 hours ago

    With less than a week remaining in camp, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their latest round of cuts this morning, sending three relievers to minor league camp, including ...

    Read More
  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    2 days ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    3 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    4 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    5 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    1 week ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    2 weeks ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles