Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 9
Pittsburgh 0
WP: Cueto (2-1)
LP: Morton (1-6)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Wow. Just…wow. Johnny Cueto pitched the most dominating game of his major league career, a one-hitter. Cueto struck out 8, walked none, and faced one batter over the minimum in his first career complete game shutout. Where has that Johnny Cueto been, and can he come back every five days?

–Lots of guys broke out the bats tonight:

Jay Bruce: 3-5, a triple, 3 RBI. We are watching the emergence of a new star in the National League.

Chris Heisey: the youngster led off tonight (good idea, Dusty), and he responded by reaching base four times. On the night, Heisey was 3-4 with a walk, two runs scored, 2 RBI, and his first major league homer. Congrats to Heisey on a great night.

Brandon Phillips went 2-4 with a double and three runs scored.

Joey Votto: 2-4, double, two runs scored, 2 RBI.

Scott Rolen: 2-3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI.

Ramon Hernandez: 2-5, double, RBI.

Miguel Cairo: 0-1.

NEGATIVES
–None whatsoever.

ETC.
–Clearly, the Cincinnati Reds are the greatest team in the history of the universe.

–That was the first one-hitter spun by a Reds pitcher since John Smiley in 1996. Wow.

–That’s four wins in a row since I made my declaration that I couldn’t bear to watch this team anymore. I may not watch a game the rest of the year. It’ll be worth it if it ensures that the guys keep winning.

–Reds go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon, turning the tables on the Pirates (who swept the Reds the last time Cincinnati came to town). It’s up to you, Homer Bailey.

–I gotta work on a Cueto sombrero, and a Heisey one too. Tonight, however, we’ll introduce the brand new BP sombrero (HUGE thanks to brilliant reader Scott for this one — and some other new ones that are coming soon):

42 Responses

  1. Greg Dafler

    The Reds have had the lead after 1 inning of play 5 times this season.
    Twice in April.
    Tonight was the 3rd time already in May.

  2. nick in va

    The starting pitching the last few games has been unbelievable.

  3. Veteran Leader

    That game is what veteran leaders, like myself, call a “rocking chair game”. Just ease on back in the ole chair and enjoy the hell out of it. 🙂

    I guess you could wear a sombrero in the rocking chair, but that’d be a little too flashy for me. 😉

  4. pinson343

    The key to the positives was Cairo’s 0 for 1. That we can afford to have him on the bench means we’re really the Yankees.

  5. pinson343

    Cueto’s line reminds me of his MLB debut, although of course it’s even better. I had thought that Cueto was gone, but here he is.

  6. mike

    I was busy today riding my bike to the beach so didn’t watch/listen to the game. Got back to my apartment and looked up how the Reds did with a tiny bit of hope they did well because, well, it’s the Pirates. I did a triple take! Huh? 1 hitter? Sure sure….the Pirates suck but a complete game 1 hitter with no BB and 8 Ks?

    I missed one of the best pitched games by the Reds since I don’t know when….That had to be one of the best pitched games since the Smiley game….their lines are almost identical. 1 H, no BB, 8 Ks. Maybe Harang’s 3 hit CG shut out vs Pitt last year or Harang’s 2 H, CG shutout vs Pitt in 2007. Someone fill me in…how good was Cueto??

    I love when the Reds play one of the worst teams in baseball

  7. pinson343

    Before this series I said: Dominate them ! That’s how to make sure you win.

    Now I’m scoreboard watching ! Sampson just retired Pujols and Holiday with the tying and go-ahead runs on base.

    When St. Louis comes in this weekend, I want it to be close enough for us to take over the division lead, if we take care of business.

  8. mike

    one other thing….I love the lineup tonight. Don’t remember many other times when I could even stomach a Dusty lineup

    Janish 8th instead of the catcher. Giving our CF a day off during his horrendous slump. Saying screw it our leadoff hitters have been terrible so giving Heisey a shot at it. The great Votto-Rolen-Bruce combo in the middle (7 for 12!!).

  9. pinson343


    Veteran Leader:

    That game is what veteran leaders, like myself, call a “rocking chair game”. Just ease on back in the ole chair and enjoy the hell out of it.
    I guess you could wear a sombrero in the rocking chair, but that’d be a little too flashy for me.

    Reply

    Many of us forget how to root for a team with a winning record. We’ll have to stay calm by watching what Veteran Leader does. What if September is meaningful ? That’s when veteran leadership will really kick in.

  10. pinson343


    Y-City Jim:

    Loved the Cairo 0-1.

    Reply

    The Cairo 0-1 was key. He was showing the young players that you never want to get too high or low. You need a steady even keel.

  11. mike

    @pinson343: pinson, to get serious for a second. I really don’t remember what it feels like rooting for a winning team. No really! I don’t watch many other sports and pretty much the only other team I follow in any sport is the Golden State Warriors (who have been awful for a long time). Sure I follow the Giants and As but my foot is only half in the door with them.

    1999-2000 seems like a LONG time ago

  12. pinson343


    mike:

    one other thing….I love the lineup tonight. Don’t remember many other times when I could even stomach a Dusty lineup
    Janish 8th instead of the catcher. Giving our CF a day off during his horrendous slump. Saying screw it our leadoff hitters have been terrible so giving Heisey a shot at it. The great Votto-Rolen-Bruce combo in the middle (7 for 12!!).

    Reply

    I looked at tonite’s lineup, and felt confident we would win. What a strange feeling.

    And who’s taken over Dusty’s brain ?

  13. TheNatural

    Amazing game by Cueto. Although, he’s starting to look a bit like The Meathook…

  14. mike

    @pinson343: I think Dusty’s brain hasn’t changed but desperation can lead to good things sometimes. The massive Stubb’s slump and painfully obvious poor defense at SS I think finally gave Dusty the freedom to just do it. Give Stubbs and Cabrera a day off and who is going to lead off……why not the new guy?
    Props to Heisey as well. His debut was rough……then he sits on the bench forever but when he got a shot during this game he did it. I really hope he sees more playing time.

    I had looked up his minor league defensive #s the other day after Dusty’s silly comment about him being more of a “corner OF who can play CF” and his minor league defensive #s show him to be a slightly above average to average defender in CF. I’ll take it

  15. Sultan of Swaff

    I can count on one hand the number of bad at bats Bruce has had this season. He’s been better than Votto in that regard. This kid is on his way to a breakout year. I’m with you guys, this lineup tonite was one I’d like to see again.
    What a great experience for Johnny Cueto. The kid was beaming after the game, even if it is just the Pirates. I tells ya, we gotta have a good month because we have sooo many divisional opponents. We can legitimately put ourselves in the conversation about teams w/ a shot at the playoffs. Aside from the Cardinals, we’re gonna run into a lot of teams that are scuffling.
    Ahhhh, 1999. I remember like it was yesterday. This team isn’t there yet, although they show the same knack for coming from behind.

  16. MrSaturdayNite

    I, for one, hope it is a very long time before Chad watches another game. 😀

  17. The Mad Hatter

    Other important note on Miguel Cairo and 0 for 1, he did see 3 pitches, thereby showing that when the weather sucks don’t waste time batting late in the game. Another sign of veteran presence. 😀

  18. mike

    @Sultan of Swaff: I agree. Votto has been GREAT and has out produced other Reds by a mile but remember a few weeks ago when Votto went public and said he was going to work on cutting down the SO? I didn’t even know where that came from cept I think he knew despite producing he was having some bat AB. I saw them……to me this was an exciting statement about how great of a hitter Votto can be. Being one of the most productive hitters in the game was not enough if he knew he had a handful of bad AB. Props to Votto.
    That said, I agree the two players who rarely seem to have bad AB are Hanigan and Bruce. remember that HR I called from Bruce again SD? It was on that crazy slow odd curveball from their pitcher. Bruce’s quotes after the game again showed to me that we have some GREAT hitters on this team. He knew what was going on…saw that pitch earlier in the game and said he was ready….if he saw that slow curve again he was going to smash it. He did!

    Bruce and Votto are this teams future (and NOW)

  19. mike

    didn’t see the game but just saw the highlights on the MLB network and ESPN. Cueto just became one of my favorite Reds. His hustle down the line on the grounder to 3rd was awesome. VERY few pitchers do that. He turns a slow grounder to the 3B into a hit and he’s a PITCHER!

    I know it’s just the highlights but he also seemed to be dealing! lots of fastballs…..inside, outside, high……93, right by the hitters.

  20. pinson343


    mike:

    @pinson343: I really don’t remember what it feels like rooting for a winning team. No really! I don’t watch many other sports and pretty much the only other team I follow in any sport is the Golden State Warriors (who have been awful for a long time).
    1999-2000 seems like a LONG time ago

    Reply

    I can feel your pain, Mike. I root for the Giants in the NFL, so I have those 3 Super Bowl wins. 1990 was my best year in sports.

  21. mike

    @pinson343: 1990 was a good year. Reds, As and SF Giants over .500

    I watched Larkin, Davis, Sabo, Rijo and the Nasty Boys

    along with Mitchell, Williams, Clark, Henderson, Canseco, McGwire, Brantley, Stewart, and Eck

    ALL summer

  22. mike

    @mike: one other thing….for me the highlight of 1990 (during the season) was Larkin willing that team to win. I wonder how often the Reds have had 5 (or 6) starters with ERA better than league average…..Browning, Rijo, Armstrong, Jackson and Charlton all had an ERA+ of 105 or better…

    right….I should be able to look that up

  23. mike

    season’s where the Reds had 5 or more players with 10+ starts and an ERA+ of 100 or better (2000 is always a surprise)

    1 1946 7 Joe Beggs / Ewell Blackwell / Harry Gumbert / Johnny Hetki / Ed Heusser / Johnny Vander Meer / Bucky Walters
    2 1944 7 Arnold Carter / Tommy de la Cruz / Harry Gumbert / Ed Heusser / Jim Konstanty / Clyde Shoun / Bucky Walters
    3 1995 6 Mark Portugal / Tim Pugh / Jose Rijo / Pete Schourek / John Smiley / David Wells
    4 1955 6 Joe Black / Jackie Collum / Art Fowler / Don Gross / Johnny Klippstein / Joe Nuxhall
    5 1926 6 Pete Donohue / Red Lucas / Dolf Luque / Jakie May / Carl Mays / Eppa Rixey
    6 1924 6 Rube Benton / Pete Donohue / Dolf Luque / Carl Mays / Eppa Rixey / Tom Sheehan
    7 1904 6 Bob Ewing / Noodles Hahn / Jack Harper / Win Kellum / Jack Sutthoff / Tom Walker
    8 2000 5 Elmer Dessens / Osvaldo Fernandez / Pete Harnisch / Denny Neagle / Scott Williamson
    9 1999 5 Juan Guzman / Pete Harnisch / Denny Neagle / Steve Parris / Ron Villone
    10 1990 5 Jack Armstrong / Tom Browning / Norm Charlton / Danny Jackson / Jose Rijo
    11 1979 5 Bill Bonham / Tom Hume / Mike LaCoss / Fred Norman / Tom Seaver
    12 1970 5 Tony Cloninger / Jim McGlothlin / Jim Merritt / Gary Nolan / Wayne Simpson
    13 1967 5 Jim Maloney / Billy McCool / Gary Nolan / Milt Pappas / Mel Queen
    14 1961 5 Ken Hunt / Joey Jay / Ken Johnson / Jim O’Toole / Bob Purkey
    15 1958 5 Harvey Haddix / Brooks Lawrence / Don Newcombe / Joe Nuxhall / Bob Purkey
    16 1951 5 Ewell Blackwell / Howie Fox / Ken Raffensberger / Willie Ramsdell / Herm Wehmeier
    17 1941 5 Paul Derringer / Elmer Riddle / Jim Turner / Johnny Vander Meer / Bucky Walters
    18 1940 5 Paul Derringer / Whitey Moore / Junior Thompson / Jim Turner / Bucky Walters
    19 1925 5 Rube Benton / Pete Donohue / Dolf Luque / Jakie May / Eppa Rixey
    20 1922 5 Johnny Couch / Pete Donohue / Cactus Keck / Dolf Luque / Eppa Rixey
    21 1919 5 Hod Eller / Ray Fisher / Jimmy Ring / Dutch Ruether / Slim Sallee
    22 1903 5 Bob Ewing / Noodles Hahn / Bill Phillips / Ed Poole / Jack Sutthoff
    23 1896 5 Frank Dwyer / Red Ehret / Chauncey Fisher / Frank Foreman / Billy Rhines

  24. mike

    here is a VERY different list. The times the Reds have had the most starters with 20(!!!) starts and an ERA >= 100

    thing to notice….only once since 1979 and that was 1990
    what’s odd is there is still a shot for it to happen this year.
    I was curious how many of these years the team made the playoffs but am getting tired. Oddly those 1st 2 seasons…51 & 46 both were losing records

    1 1951 5 Ewell Blackwell / Howie Fox / Ken Raffensberger / Willie Ramsdell / Herm Wehmeier
    2 1946 5 Joe Beggs / Ewell Blackwell / Ed Heusser / Johnny Vander Meer / Bucky Walters
    3 1904 5 Bob Ewing / Noodles Hahn / Jack Harper / Win Kellum / Tom Walker
    4 1990 4 Jack Armstrong / Tom Browning / Danny Jackson / Jose Rijo
    5 1979 4 Bill Bonham / Mike LaCoss / Fred Norman / Tom Seaver
    6 1976 4 Don Gullett / Gary Nolan / Fred Norman / Pat Zachry
    7 1970 4 Jim McGlothlin / Jim Merritt / Gary Nolan / Wayne Simpson
    8 1967 4 Jim Maloney / Gary Nolan / Milt Pappas / Mel Queen
    9 1964 4 Joey Jay / Jim Maloney / Jim O’Toole / Bob Purkey
    10 1963 4 Jim Maloney / Joe Nuxhall / Jim O’Toole / John Tsitouris
    11 1961 4 Ken Hunt / Joey Jay / Jim O’Toole / Bob Purkey
    12 1958 4 Harvey Haddix / Brooks Lawrence / Joe Nuxhall / Bob Purkey
    13 1944 4 Tommy de la Cruz / Ed Heusser / Clyde Shoun / Bucky Walters
    14 1942 4 Paul Derringer / Ray Starr / Johnny Vander Meer / Bucky Walters
    15 1941 4 Paul Derringer / Elmer Riddle / Johnny Vander Meer / Bucky Walters
    16 1940 4 Paul Derringer / Junior Thompson / Jim Turner / Bucky Walters
    17 1927 4 Red Lucas / Dolf Luque / Jakie May / Eppa Rixey
    18 1926 4 Pete Donohue / Dolf Luque / Carl Mays / Eppa Rixey
    19 1924 4 Pete Donohue / Dolf Luque / Carl Mays / Eppa Rixey
    20 1923 4 Rube Benton / Pete Donohue / Dolf Luque / Eppa Rixey
    21 1922 4 Johnny Couch / Pete Donohue / Dolf Luque / Eppa Rixey
    22 1920 4 Hod Eller / Ray Fisher / Dolf Luque / Dutch Ruether
    23 1919 4 Hod Eller / Ray Fisher / Dutch Ruether / Slim Sallee
    24 1903 4 Bob Ewing / Noodles Hahn / Ed Poole / Jack Sutthoff
    25 1898 4 Ted Breitenstein / Bill Dammann / Frank Dwyer / Pink Hawley

  25. pinson343


    mike:

    @Sultan of Swaff: remember that HR I called from Bruce again SD? It was on that crazy slow odd curveball from their pitcher. Bruce’s quotes after the game again showed to me that we have some GREAT hitters on this team. He knew what was going on…saw that pitch earlier in the game and said he was ready….if he saw that slow curve again he was going to smash it. He did!

    Reply

    I remember that HR well. Bruce had missed the pitch earlier in the game and was waiting for it. Some reporters called it an eephus pitch but it wasn’t. An eephus pitch has a very high arc, as in slow pitch softball.

    The most famous eephus pitch story was Ted Williams homering on an eephus pitch off Rip Sewell in the 1946 All Star game.

    At Yankee Stadium in 1982 I saw Dave LaRoche pitch about a dozen (really) eephus pitches in a row to the Brewers slugger Gorman Thomas. Thomas fouled off one after another. The Yankees were down by 5-6 runs and the crowd had been quiet. This “duel” energized them, they stood and yelled louder with every pitch. Finally Thomas lined a single but the crowd stayed worked up, cheering the Yankees on to a come from behind win. They even got to the great Rollie Fingers that game.

  26. pinson343


    mike:

    I know it’s just the highlights but he also seemed to be dealing! lots of fastballs…..inside, outside, high……93, right by the hitters.

    Reply

    This is how Cueto pitches when he’s fresh. His not pitching winter ball was critical for him and the Reds.

  27. pinson343

    @mike:
    1919, 1940, 1961,1970, 1979, and 1990 are on both of your starting pitcher lists. We won the NL pennant all those years, except 1979, when we won the NL West and lost to the Pirates in the NLCS. The WS winners, as we all know: 1919, 1940, and 1990.
    1976, another WS year, is on your 2nd list.
    1995, when we won the NL Central and lost to the Braves in the NLCS in on the first list. 1999, which needs no explanation, is also on the 1st list.

    I’m surprised by the absence of 1981, when we had the best regular season record in the MLs, and 1994, when we led the NL Central when the strike set in. Those cursed strike seasons.

  28. pinson343

    @mike:
    My favorite Reds rotation:
    1958 Harvey Haddix / Brooks Lawrence / Don Newcombe/ Joe Nuxhall / Bob Purkey.
    Purkey was my favorite. Nux needs no intro. Harvery Haddix, nicknamed the Kitten becasue of his resemblance to the great Cardinal pitcher, Harry the Cat Breechen. Newk, one of the greatest pitchers in Dodger history. I remember an early Brooks Lawrence baseball card, I had no idea at the time how few African American ML pitchers there had been to that point.

    From the pennant winning 1961 rotation, the Big 3 were Joey Jay, Purkey, and Jim O’Toole. Ken Hunt was number 4. I always wondered what happened to him. He went 9-10 with an ERA just under 4 into August or so, then disappeared.
    I never knew what happened. 1961 was his only season in the big leagues. He’s listed in wikipedia, but it was taking too long to download.

    In 1961 the Reds also had two promising young starting pitchers, Jay Hook (who flopped) and JIm Maloney. We know about Maloney. Hook ended up in the rotation of the 1962 Mets, going 8-19. That was 20% of their wins !

  29. Bill Lack

    @pinson343:

    Sorry, the most famous eephus pitch story in Cincinnati is Bill “Spaceman” Lee trying to sneak it by Tony Perez in the 7th game of the ’75 Series…and Perez sneaking it over the LCF fence..

  30. TC

    Can we give some love to Dusty? How about a sombrero for him. He’s doing everything we’ve asked. 😉

    Free Heisey!

  31. The Mad Hatter

    I know this is my own little project but I have a question to ask the community. Does Cueto throw a one-hitter last night with OC at SS? Does Cueto throw a complete game? For the season OC is averaging 3.5 ch/9 innings. Last night Janish had 7. I admit everything I’m looking at is small sample sizes but at some point does the fact that OC is having a historically bad year at SS weigh into the decision that his average bat is still in the lineup?

  32. TC

    @The Mad Hatter: Flatly, no. No way. Hell no.

    But Janish didn’t bring his A game last night either. I almost logged on to say, “Janish would have had that.” I was on the only hit of the night when Sedano hit that seeing eye single through the left infield gap. Janish dove for it, but it looked like an OC play.

    Janish is a huge improvement over OC even when he brings his B or even C game like last night.

  33. TC

    Sorry, “…It was on the only hit…”.

    “A” game Janish would have sealed a no-no for Cueto last night with a heroic play on the only hit of the game.

    Don’t forget, Cueto was two hitters from perfect. A hit batter (which he flirted with all night), and a seeing eye single which was playable by Janish on a good night.

  34. pinson343

    @Bill Lack: Yes, the Leephus pitch to Tony Perez, one of the most important pitches in Reds history. It’s debatable which is the most “famous,” it depends on the year you were born and the team you root for.
    (Not that I was alive in 1946, but I read about that Williams HR or saw it on a video about 1,000 times.)

    Sewell was the first picher to regularly use the eephus pitch, and he gave it that name. Before the 1946 All Star game, Sewell’s throwing the eephus pitch to Williams was much anticipated and got a lot of publicity. Williams’ hitting the HR off it, his second HR of that All Star game, is a part of his legacy.

    Tony’s HR was much more important, to me it was infinitely more important. Without that HR we probably lose Game 7, the BRM only wins one WS, and is not considered one of the great teams of all time.

  35. pinson343

    I didn’t see the game last nite and I’ll just assume, based on TC’s reply above, that Janish made some plays OC would not have.

    But the ball that snuck thru for the hit did not require a “heroic” effort. It was not hard hit and went right under Janish’s glove. It looked like Janish doing an OC imitation. If OC doesn’t make that same play, some of us definitely would have said “Janish makes that play.”

    It’s funny that TC almost wrote that.

  36. pinson343

    I’m with TC, Dusty was one of the heroes last nite.

  37. pinson343

    Another point on the eephus pitch discussion. The eephus pitch had a very high arc, and took forever to come down. Lee named his big slow changeup the Leephus pitch, but it was not an eephus pitch by Sewell standards.