In what was billed to be a pitcher’s duel between the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner and Cincinnati Reds’ Johnny Cueto, proved to be a one-sided affair. While Cueto struggled mightily in the winds and cold by the Bay, Bumgarner was quite a home. Bumgarner took a no hitter into the 6th inning. His bid was broken up when Ryan Hanigan, Cincinnati Reds’ catcher, singled sharply up the middle. That was it. That was all the Reds could muster against the slider throwing lefthander.
Now those of you who have followed my blogs know that I am not one to make excusese for the Reds or to blame anyone other than them for their losses; however, I must make mention that Cueto didn’t get the same calls as Bumgarner. I don’t know if CB Buckner, the umpire behind the plate, wasn’t seeing the ball well, or just had an off night, but pitches in the same spot for Cueto didn’t get the same call as Bumgarner. One major spot came in the first inning. Cueto had made quick work of the first two hitters. With Melky Cabrera up and working with a full-count. Cueto unleashed a tailing fastball belt-high on the outside corner. Clearly Cueto and Hanigan believed it was a strike and they were off to a solid start. Buckner, however, saw it differently and awarded Cabrera first base. Instead of being in the dugout 0-0, Cueto gave up consecutive bleeders to rightfield. Add in one throwing error and the Giants are leading 2-0 and for all purposes that was the game.
It got so bad for Cueto, he ended up walking 4 batters in only 6 innings. To put that in perspective, the Cincinnati Reds’ ace had only walked 2 batters in the rest of the month of June.
All that being said, the Cincinnati Reds were clearly overmatched against Bumgarner who continued the amazing pitching run for the Giants. This was their fourth consecutive shut out win. They have gone 38 straight innings, total, without allowing a run. Very, very impressive.
The two teams will go at it again on Friday night. Hopefully the Cincinnati Reds will have found their bats and start to play like a first place team.