All across Major League Baseball you could read how the best chance the Cincinnati Reds had going into the wildcard playoff game was to start Johnny Cueto. Well they did start Cueto but that turned out not to give them such a good chance after all. They in fact were let down by their ace, thereby ending a disappointing and injury plagued season for him on a bad note. Cueto is a quality pitcher and absolutely has what it takes to be considered an ace. Any time there are injury problems like he had this year, it not only calls into question his health but everything else.
During the postseason disappointment by the Reds and Cueto, they learned that they needed to be able to score more runs if Cueto wasn’t going to shut the other guys down. Cueto did not shut them down and didn’t even get to the fifth inning. He was taken out of the game before things really got completely out of hand but by that time the Reds were way out of serious contention considering how well Pittsburgh Pirates starter Francisco Liriano was throwing.
Obviously the Reds had their changes after Cueto left the game but considering how their offense was struggling coming into the game, the Reds needed a shutout from Cueto. They at least needed the kind of outing that David Price was able to put up for the Tampa Bay Rays. They did not get it which made any chance they had to win the game drop way down. Honestly Cueto wasn’t injured at the time of this game and should have been able to battle through better than he did because he is their ace. He didn’t.