Spring Training Game Review 3/7/08 Game 1 

Johnny Cueto dazzled today against the Pirates ( Photo by Al Behrman AP)

Johnny Cueto is the story from the first game against the Pirates on Friday. The 22 year old  started for the first time this spring (has come in from the pen in prior outings) and showed why he is one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Cueto went 3 innings, allowed just 1 hit, no walks and he struck out 4 batters.

Chris Dickerson went 1-2 with a run and an RBI.

Drew Anderson (OF) went 0-2.

Paul Janish went 0-2.

Adam Rosales went 0-2.

Ryan Hanigan went 0-3 with a run scored.

Craig Tatum went 0-1 with an RBI.

Richie Gardner allowed 5 hits and 2 walks in 0.1 innings that led to 7 earned runs. Not his best day.

Brad Salmon allowed 2 hits in 2 innings and struck out 4.

More on Johnny Cueto’s day

Here are some of the things Cueto said about his performance via C Trent:

“I feel good, I felt comfortable,” Cueto said after Friday’s performance. “I trust my stuff, I don’t do anything specific to impress anybody. I throw the way I’m used to throwing and challenge the hitters.”

When asked if he should start in the big leagues.

“Yes,” Cueto said through interpreter and catcher Javier Valentin as if he’d been asked nothing more if he wanted a bottle of water after pitching three innings and striking out four Pirate batters, while surrendering a single hit.  “That’s why I’m here. I’m throwing the ball good, if I’ve got a chance to start the season in the big leagues, I’ll be happy.”

Here are quotes from other Reds about his day:

“He throws easy, he throws strikes, he mixes up his pitches well,” Baker said following the 13-8 Pirates win. “He threw the ball well, he looks nice and relaxed. He’s coming fast. He looked good.”

“Sometimes those guys have no chance — no chance at all,” Bruce said. “I asked him how he was throwing, he said, ‘maybe 98.’ I believe him. He’s ridiculous. He’s going to be good for a long, long time.”

“If you have that kind of changeup, welcome to the big leagues,” Valentin said. “Everyone says the next Pedro Martinez, and hopefully that’s what we’ve got here, the next Pedro Martinez.”

John Fay also picked up some other things from other guys:

“That kid’s got some (stuff),” Ken Griffey Jr. said. “Some other guys are going to turn it up, especially somebody wearing No. 34. Competition is a good thing.”

Homer Bailey is No. 34.

It sounds like Griffey is suggesting that Bailey is going to turn his game up a little bit.

What have you learned from Francisco Cordero and Mario Soto?
“I’m working low, strike zone low, and that’s what Mario and Cordero talk to me
about.”

Did you reach your pitch limit today?
“No. I stayed short.”

Fay notes that Cueto threw another 15 pitches in the bullpen to get his full days work in.

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