If you just look at the score, you would say, “that had to have been a well pitched game by the winner.” Well, you would be wrong. Oh sure, it was Johnny Cueto on the mound for the Cincinnati Reds. He did win his 11th on the season. He did hold the opponent out of the scoring column. He did lower his ERA 2.28. However, he struggled from the 3rd inning on with control. He had to work his way out of two bases loaded jams and one two on jam. He threw 106 pitches in just 6 innings of work and of those 106, he threw 46 balls. Cueto was at 3 balls with just about every batter he faced – it seemed.
You may also say, “the team that won sure hit well to score 4 runs.” Again, you would be very wrong on that too. The Cincinnati Reds were only able to collect 5 hits. There was no more than one hit in the same inning. The Reds scored 1 in the first inning by way of a walk, an error and a wild pitch. In the third inning, the Reds scored on two walks and a Ryan Ludwick homerun. That was it for the Reds.
On the bright side of an otherwise boring game, the Cincinnati Reds won (51-39), remained in first place and won their 400th at GABP. All while playing very poorly. Of course, we did get to see Aroldis Chapman come on to get the last out (by strike out, of course) and pick up his 14th save.
As far as Cueto is concerned, it is important to look at just how good he has been over the last two years for the Cincinnati Reds. During that time, the average ERA for starting pitchers in GABP is 4.29. Cueto, during that same amount of time, has an ERA of 1.76. That is over 2 and 1/2 runs lower than the average. Now, please tell me he’s not the best pitcher in the league.