April 09, 2008
How good is Johnny Cueto?
Scouts agree, he's the best right-handed person ever.
In fact, baseball insiders believe that Cueto will impact human civilization in much the same way that language, tool use, and agriculture have.
That's how good he is. There's also been speculation that Microsoft reduced its bid for Yahoo! by as much as $5 billion because Cueto wasn't in the player pool before April.
Seriously, he's that good.
Tonight he gave up two runs, which will never happen again.
Dusty Baker had a chance to pinch-hit for him in the seventh with one out and a runner at second. Cueto had thrown 85 pitches and the Reds were losing to Milwaukee, 1-0. Instead, Cueto remained in the game, advanced the runner with a bouncer to short, and Corey Patterson singled to tie the score.
Then Bill Hall untied it with a solo homer to lead-off the bottom half of the inning. Cueto followed by striking out Corey Hart, but Baker lifted the 22-year-old after 96 pitches.
Cueto finished with another very good fantasy line: 6.1 IP, 8 K, 2.84 ERA, 0.79 WHIP. He's now pitched 13.1 major league innings, allowing six hits, walking no one, and striking out 18.
There is widespread agreement that if we harvest Cueto's stem cells, they will cure death.
* Eric Gagne blew the save for the Brewers in the ninth, allowing a two-strike, two-out home run to Patterson. Gagne threw almost exclusively off-speed stuff. When he tried to get consecutive fastballs by Patterson, the second was launched over the right field fence.
Guillermo Mota entered in the eighth to face the heart of the Reds' order, but he wasn't effective. Salomon Torres ultimately got the win for Milwaukee.
* Jorge Posada will have an MRI on his shoulder on Wednesday. He told reporters that it feels, "Dead. It's like I've got no strength." The DL is a possibility here. You'll need a replacement for a little while. So...
* The largely-unowned Kurt Suzuki is now hitting .414 after going 3/5 in Oakland's 9-8 win over Toronto. Huston Street pitched an uneventful ninth, earning his first save of the season.
* Jimmy Rollins exited late in the Phillies' 5-2 win over the Mets. He sprained his ankle, but it's not thought to be serious. The Phillies' website reports that he expects to start on Wednesday night. Tom Gordon picked up the save because Brad Lidge had pitched the previous two days.
* Brian Bannister picked up his second win of the season today, going five innings against the Yankees, allowing two runs, and striking out six. He's now beaten two of the more impressive lineups in baseball, Detroit and New York, and his upcoming starts should be against Minnesota and Oakland. He's a solid add right now. (More thoughts on Bannister here).
* Royals' leadoff hitter Joey Gathright stole three bases off Posada's dying arm today.
* Tonight's Mariners' save went to left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith. He retired the top of the Rays' order (lefties Iwamura, Crawford and Pena) in the ninth. Rowland-Smith's stat line was impressive (1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K), but the save opportunity seemed to be about match-ups. JJ Putz will reportedly start a throwing program on Wednesday.
* Here's a scary Yahoo! box score note from that Seattle-Tampa game: "TAMPA BAY PITCHER MATT GARZA LEFT THE GAME IN THE TOP OF THE THIRD INNING DUE TO RADIAL NERVE INJURY IN HIS RIGHT ELBOW." He's already on the 15-day DL.
"It's something I've dealt with over time," said Garza.
"It just came up during the game," said Joe Maddon.
* Hard-throwing Ubaldo Jimenez had a sketchy line in a win over the Braves: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K. The Rockies' bullpen was lights-out, pitching three no-hit innings.
* Justin Speier was not quite lights-out for the Angels. Francisco Rodriguez is dealing with injured ankles, and Scot Shields had pitched on both Sunday and Monday, so the save opportunity went to Speier. He was one strike away from converting, but he walked Asdrubal Cabrera, then gave up a bomb to Travis Hafner on a first-pitch slider.
Rodriguez is expected to miss several days, with a DL visit possible. Mike Scioscia sounds like he's forming a closer committee: "We've got a couple of arms at the back end of the bullpen to close it out. We'll do it by match-ups." Speier wasn't bad on Tuesday -- ball four to Cabrera was close -- but Shields is the best bet for saves in the short term.
* Matt Kemp, a guy that Craig Falzone would like to trade, was 3/5 on Tuesday with a triple and a run scored.
* Brian Wilson couldn't hold a 2-1 lead for Tim Lincecum on Tuesday night. Wilson allowed a walk, a single, and a sac-fly. That's two consecutive poor outings for him. Tyler Walker has given up only two earned runs in his last 17.2 innings. Brad Hennessey has struggled mightily this year, but he picked up the win in the 11th when Bengie Molina hit a walk-off (approximately 12 hours after we criticized him).
* Francisco Liriano allowed three runs and five hits in a four-inning Triple-A rehab start on Tuesday. He struck out three and walked three.