Johnny Cueto pitched today against the Diamondbacks and… Damn, Cueto toyed with the D-Backs hitters. He looked filthy. He had them completely off-balance. Mixing between a 95 MPH fastball and a 84 MPH changeup, all of the D-Backs looked like their hitting coach was Mark Reynolds (up to 6 Ks! 200 is within reach). The only missteps: Hudson got a hold of one ball that a stronger hitter would’ve deposited in the seats, that turned it into a long out off of Hud’s bat and the Justin Upton home run. Upton had no business hitting the pitch. It was low and inside. The home run was more about the talent in Upton’s stroke than a bad pitch by Cueto.
A few impressive things looking forward that can be gathered from Cueto’s start. First, the home run did not faze him. Came right back and got the next three guys. Second, he has great command. 10 Ks against no walks. Are you heffin’ kidding me? Third, no one in the league is familiar with his stuff. This will stay great for a while. Don’t see adjustments until at least the All-Star Break.
The only drawback — Dusty Baker. Cueto should’ve been pulled from the game in the bottom of the sixth when his turn to bat came up (it also cost them a run because while Cueto was on third there was a wild pitch that just about anyone outside of Giambi would’ve scored on). Long term, Baker’s a major negative. He’s getting old and he wants to retire after winning a championship. If that means, throwing his pitchers for too many innings, then so be it. He’s thinking about the here and now, but for the near future, Cueto is the here and now.