When Johnny Cueto hit the DL again, the Reds, unsurprisingly, called up rookie Tony Cingrani to take his place. After all, there was extensive discussion about Cingrani maybe taking over Mike Leake‘s spot in the Reds’ rotation, as he seemed to be the better pitcher at the time. However, the Reds trusted in Mike Leake, and he gave results, putting together a solid season. Leake is 5-3 on the season with a 2.93 ERA, and really appears to have turned it around. Leake admitted that Cingrani’s presence intimidated him, as it should have, and made him kick it into gear.
Cingrani faced the Cubs in his return, and he pitched right where he left off. Cingrani went 7 solid innings (which is big for him- he had gone at least 6 innings in only 3 of his first 6 big league starts) giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, striking out 5 and only walking one. He neutralized Alfonso Soriano, who had been hard on him last time out against the Cubs, hitting 2 2 run homers, allowing no hits to the Cubs’ left fielder.
Although Cingrani pitched excellently to get the win, he didn’t have to. His opposing starter, Matt Garza, was awful, giving up 9 runs in just 5 innings. The game was essentially decided in the 6th inning. However, Cingrani delivered yet another solid performance. Although losing Johnny Cueto hurts, having a guy like Tony Cingrani to call upon makes it a lot easier to take.