Coming into Thursday afternoon’s game against the San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto was already leading the Major Leagues in ERA for the 2014 season.
Then, he threw a complete game shut-out.
Cueto’s ERA sat at a lights-out 1.43 entering the day, but against San Diego’s admittedly fledgling offense, the 28-year-old was utterly dominant in allowing only three hits and two walks while striking out eight in route to the shutout. It was the third complete game and second shut-out of the season for Cueto, but more impressively, he placed himself in incredible company with a specific feat.
As noted by Elias Sports Bureau, Johnny Cueto becomes the first pitcher with nine straight starts of seven or more inning pitched and two or fewer earned runs to begin season since Harry Krause accomplished the feat in 1909. Obviously, that is a torrid pace, and even with some indication that a regression could be coming (3.01 FIP), his 1.25 ERA is a mark that stands out to even the most casual baseball fan.
It hasn’t been a storybook season for the 18-20 Cincinnati Reds, but if they continue to get this type of production from their ace, Johnny Cueto and company will be just fine.