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Johnny Cueto shuts out Giants, takes over as MLB ERA leader

Jul 31, 2011, 6:31 PM EDT

Johnny Cueto Getty Images

Johnny Cueto pitched a three-hitter for his second career shutout Sunday against the Giants and finally accrued enough innings to put himself into the ERA standings, where he now ranks first in the majors at 1.72.

Cueto overtook Jered Weaver for the ERA lead.  Weaver entered the day at 1.79, but he gave up three runs in a loss to the Tigers, leaving him at 1.88 for the season.

Because of a strained triceps muscle suffered in spring training, Cueto didn’t make his season debut until May 8.  With today’s performance, he’s now made 16 starts and he hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in any of them.

Cueto, though, probably hasn’t been quite as good as his ERA suggests.  In his July 26 start against the Mets, he allowed six unearned runs in five innings.  For the season, 11 of the 32 runs he’s allowed have been unearned.  Weaver, in comparison, has allowed just one unearned run in 168 innings this season.

To qualify for the ERA title, a pitcher must throw one inning for every game his team has played.  Cueto is now at 109 2/3 innings, while the Reds have played 108 games.

  1. mcchef - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    What a horrible weekend for the Giants and us Giant fans. We trade for another aging, limited range, punch-less shortstop in Orlando cabrera (tejada, keppinger, fontenot) and our pitching got blasted all weekend. Vogey and Bum will bounce back but I am sooooo tired of seeing the Giants run Zito out there. Here’s to the hope that Zito’s days as a starter are over, ridiculous contract or not!

  2. metalhead65 - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    if he wins the ERA title while winning 10 games then he deserves the cy young award just like felix did last year for winning 13 games for a lousy team. Queto should have at least 2 more wines as the reds failed to score runs for him in 2 complete games he pitched. and don’t forget the games Dusty sent him back out to lose by keeping him 1 inning to long to ‘save” his bullpen. how can say he is not as good as his stats say/ they are unearned runs for a reason! it is not his fault the defense let him down in the mets game.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 31, 2011 at 10:49 PM

      Cueto’s only pitched 109 innings. He’s not even in the Top 40 in that category.

      Let’s see how the rest of the season shakes out. There are a lot of other stats to factor in.

    • prionogenic - Jul 31, 2011 at 10:58 PM

      Good pitchers will pick-up for their defense’s shortcomings. For example, Roy Halladay, Jair Jurrjens, and Cole Hamels have given up 2, 2, and 0 unearned runs this year respectively. I think that it is important to consider how many unearned runs are scored because it’s a measure of how well a pitcher deals with stress and factors that are out of their control. Similarly, when a reliever comes into a game, their lines in the box score don’t include inherited runners, but the best relievers are good at stranding runners and not just protecting their ERA’s.

      Your argument about how many more games Cueto should’ve won is hollow because every good pitcher will take a tough-luck loss and also win games they should not have. Halladay has 2 complete game losses in which he gave up 2 and 3 in each.

      • metalhead65 - Jul 31, 2011 at 11:19 PM

        in the complete games he lost the reds did not score a run and he gave up 3 total runs. as great as halliday is he would not have survived the errors the reds committed against the mets. he threw 39 more pitches in what should have been a 1-2-3 inning.

  3. saintez - Jul 31, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    When is the last time a Cincinnati red has led the majors in ERA? I’M LOVIN IT!!!!

  4. possum327 - Jul 31, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    He won’t have the lead in 3 more games before his next start, 111 games for Reds and 109 2/3 for Culo Cueto, Reds will fade…………………………

  5. contraryguy - Aug 1, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    the Reds have had a few seconds… Jose Rijo twice, Gary Nolan once (1972)…. but you have to go back to 1944 some guy named Ed Heusser (never heard of him) for NL ERA leader. Reds had good pitching back in the war years lol

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