Ace Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds was scheduled to pitch Wednesday night against the San Diego Padres in what amounted to a somewhat historic start. Cueto is just one of eight starting pitchers since 1914 to start a season with eight straight starts of pitching at least seven innings while allowing two earned runs or less.
But the game was rained out.
If Cueto is able to throw at least seven innings and yield two earned runs or less for his rescheduled start Thursday afternoon, he would become just the third pitcher since 1914 to record nine straight such starts with the other two being Lefty Gomez in 1937 and Cy Blanton in 1935.
Cueto still has some work to do to hit the Hoyt Wilhelm all-time record of 10 straight such starts set in 1959, but Cueto has already notched his name in the records books in one respect that may never be reached again.
Besides meeting the criteria for the seven-inning, two-earned-runs-or-less start streak at the outset of a season, Cueto has also given up just five hits or less in each of his first eight starts, which makes him the only pitcher to do so. The closest to Cueto’s eight starts is five, which was done by four other pitchers since 1914.
Besides the historical implications of his rescheduled start, Cueto will also be in a position to improve up on his season totals compared to other starting pitchers this year.
Cueto leads the majors in ERA (1.43), opponents’ batting average (.138) and WHIP (0.73). He is second in baseball in strikeouts (68) and innings pitched (63) but should be the leader in those categories by the end of his start on Thursday.