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After five years, Johnny Cueto finally has an extra-base hit

Jun 17, 2012, 4:25 PM EDT

Johnny Cueto Getty Images

Reds starter Johnny Cueto delivered a ground rule double in the third inning Sunday, giving him his first extra-base hit in his 217th major league at-bat.

Cueto entered the day with a lifetime .088/.124/.088 line and four RBI in 216 at-bats. He was 2-for-24 with 10 strikeouts this season.

Apparently, the rare need for him to run the bases exhausted him; he had water brought to the mound for him while he was working in the fourth.

Cueto continued to pitch well afterwards, though. He allowed just one run in seven innings against the Mets to improve to 8-3 on the season.

Cueto’s .088 slugging percentage at the beginning of the day was the 11th lowest for anyone with at least 200 career plate appearances (since 1900). The all-time low mark belonged to Rob Herbel, a 1960’s pitcher who hit .029/.065/.034 in 206 at-bats. Among the more recent pitchers to fare worse than Cueto were Brian Moehler (.045/.098/.054 in 202 AB) and Ben Sheets (.078/.115/.085 in 436 AB).

  1. metalhead65 - Jun 17, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    I may be old school but Cuteo’s average and other pitchers averages like his are reason enough for me to be for the dh.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 9:35 AM

      The DH sucks ass. If you lace em’ up…you bat.

      • metalhead65 - Jun 18, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        what is the point if it is a automatic out?

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      It’s not an automatic out. There are lot’s of pitchers who take great pride in their AB’s (to the point of taking additional batting practice). It also puts a premium on Managers making the correct decisions (from the lineup, to the batting order, pinch hitting, double switches, defensive substitutions), etc… The issue is players (pitchers) not taking their hitting seriously and/or their respective Managers not making it a focus. As others have posted…it takes effort to be able to hit in the Big Leagues. College Baseball has numerous pitchers who can flat out rake.
      Why? Because pitchers hit regularly in College. Until MLB teams make it a focus (like the college ranks)…pitchers that hit well will be the exception.

  2. kfiz14 - Jun 17, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    He’s not paid to hit. The articles on here are terrible.

  3. okwhitefalcon - Jun 17, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Wow, what a kick that must have been for him.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 9:33 AM

      LOL! Yeah…I am sure it was a “kick” for him Falcon.

  4. jumbro10 - Jun 17, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    The DH is crap. Make pitchers focus on being complete players! I find it crazy that throughout little league and high school the ptichers are often the best all around players. Some continue that in college but once they get to pro ball they suddenly have no time to practice even bunting? Get rid of the DH all together! This is the only thing i am looking forward to with the astros balancing out the leagues by moving to the AL. With inter league games every day, MLB is going to be forced to make a final decision on the DH and i am pretty sure the final answer will be NO DH! Might take a few years, but it will happen.

    • jwbiii - Jun 17, 2012 at 8:38 PM

      So what leagues require the pitchers bat? Professional, college, summer college wood bat, high school, legion? I’ll spot you the NPB Central League.

      • bbfan04 - Jun 17, 2012 at 9:01 PM

        The only reason they cannot hit is because they are not allowed to. Many of the pitchers were good hitters in High School and college, but when they got to the minors, they stopped hitting until they got to AAA. If they were allowed to hit in the minors, it would be a different story. The DH is garbage and needs to be removed from the game.

      • rooney24 - Jun 17, 2012 at 9:19 PM

        bbfan, that is just your opinion, and you are wrong. If so many pitchers were such great hitters when they were younger it would not be such an aberration when you see a pitcher hit even .250 in the majors. Just because they may have been able to hit at the high school level does NOT mean that they are good major league hitters. If it did, there would be a LOT more good hitting position players than there are now. How they hit in high little league does not determine how they might hit in the majors, regardless of whether they kept hitting or not.

  5. ironhawk - Jun 17, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    If they are going to make a decision for both leagues, it’d be yes to the DH. DH is easier to sell to the mass public. MLB will make the decision that earns them the most money. (Although, I do actually prefer the DH)

    • rooney24 - Jun 17, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      Agreed, that it will be DH only if they ever make a change. The players union won’t give up the high paying DH jobs. And, just because 5% of pitchers don’t embarrass themselves hitting doesn’t mean the rest of us want to see them hit. There is a reason they took it out of the All Star game, and eventually, the rest of the league will go that way.

  6. jumbro10 - Jun 17, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Give up the dh and add one roster spot to make it up. It WILL happen and baseball purists will rejoice!

  7. callmecynical - Jun 18, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Mr. Pouliot

    You do know that Cueto was ill before the game and was questionable to even start? The crack about running the bases leaving him winded is pretty misleading and not really humorous.

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