Daily Archives: May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

In brief: the return of Johnny Cueto

Last game
The Reds’ offense was anemic yesterday, but it looked like their 2 runs would be enough until suddenly it wasn’t.

Leading 2-0 going into the bottom of the eighth, Jonathan Broxton appeared to get shaken up by a rough defensive play that put a guy on first, and so promptly walked the next batter. Sean Marshall was the one to actually allow the inherited run to score, but even that didn’t seem so bad. After all, it would be Chapman in the ninth.

Aroldis Chapman did come in in the ninth, but his recent struggled continued. He walked the first batter and then gave up back-to-back home runs to Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis to blow the save and then the game. Coming into the month of May, Chapman’s ERA was 0.68. 20 days and 6 IP later, it’s 3.32.

The 2-3 loss to the Phillies brings the Reds’ record to 26-18. Sounds pretty good, but it’s only good enough to tie with the Pirates for second. Tough division this year.

Next game
The Reds visit the Mets tonight. Johnny Cueto (RHP, 1-0, 2.60 ERA) makes his triumphant return to the rotation and will face off against Shaun Marcum (RHP, 0-4, 6.75 ERA). First pitch at 7:10 p.m.

Cueto's hokey-pokey-style turning himself around may soon be a thing of the past.

Cueto’s hokey-pokey-style turning himself around may soon be a thing of the past.

Turn, turn, turn
Cueto has had success with a dynamic he added to his delivery a couple years ago: a turn to face almost the opposite direction as the batter before letting rip. But since then, he’s had a couple injuries that are suspiciously related to those turning-around muscles.

He’s coming back from one of those tonight: while it was a lat strain that put him on the DL in the first place, it was that right oblique that kept him from coming off it in a timely manner. That’s the same injury that took him out of game 1 of the NLDS last year.

If you don’t remember that, it’s because you blocked it out. You might want to seek out a support group or something.

Point is, he’s considering changing up his delivery to protect that oblique muscle. It probably won’t be apparent tonight because you don’t just go around screwing with your mechanics on a day’s notice, but over time.

Myself, I’m all for it. Even if phasing out that peek-a-boo turn makes him somewhat less ace-ish, any Cueto is better than no Cueto.

What to say to sound smart at the water cooler
Thanks in part to a 4-for-4 plus 2 walks performance on Saturday, Joey Votto has overtaken Shin-Soo Choo as the NL’s OBP leader. At .473 and .456 respectively, Votto and Choo outpace the rest of the league by at least .040 points.