If Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto can continue to pitch the entire 2014 season the way he has pitched to start the year, he very well may find himself in line for not only the NL Cy Young Award, but also serious NL MVP Award consideration.
Cueto’s start to the 2014 season had already reached historic proportions heading into a showdown with the Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado-led Colorado Rockies on Friday night. Cueto entered the game as the only pitcher since 1914 to pitch seven or more innings, surrender two earned runs or less and five hits or less in his first seven starts in a season.
After Cueto held the Rockies to two earned runs while scattering five hits in eight innings, he bumped that historic streak to eight straight starts. The next highest streak to start the season is five, which was last done by Hall-of-Famer Tom Seaver.
Cueto is likely to have that streak all to himself for quite some time, and the historic start to his season is impressive enough that it could factor into the accolades that are long overdue for Cueto.
Cueto could still add to another streak in his historic start to the season that could further his cause as to the sheer magnitude of his season thus far. His start against the Rockies elevated him to just the fifth pitcher since 1914 to start the season with eight straight starts of pitching at least seven innings and surrendering just two earned runs or less.
If Cueto can throw at least seven innings in his next start and give up just two earned runs or less, he’ll joined the rarefied air of Cy Blanton, who is the only pitcher to start the season with nine such starts.