Johnny Cueto was taken out of the game after appearing to hurt himself on this pitch pic.twitter.com/tdtcqyLUss
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) April 14, 2021
It takes something significant for Johnny Cueto to exit games — he and Gabe Kapler have tried to find the right balance, the righty wanting every inning that he can see.
In Wednesday’s sixth inning, after Cueto grimaced upon throwing a fastball, he signaled for the dugout, talked quickly with trainer Dave Groeschner and left the game immediately.
The Giants said the injury is a tight lat and Cueto is being examined.
It was a worrisome sight for the Giants and Cueto during the matinee game at Oracle Park against the Reds after the 35-year-old reached back for a 93.5-mph fastball, his second fastest he threw on a day he lasted 68 pitches. The four-seamer got Nick Castellanos to whiff and strike out, but it was apparent immediately that something was wrong, as much written on Cueto’s face as he circled the mound.
Cueto had been rolling in a game that the Giants were winning, 2-0, when he left and Caleb Baragar entered. He surrendered just three hits and no walks while striking out four Reds battings in 5 2/3 innings, lowering his ERA to 1.80 after three starts that have varied from OK to incredible. He has looked like the pitcher who came up with the Reds, whose bats he was neutralizing before the apparent injury.
If he is out for an extended period, the Giants could ask Logan Webb to start again. Kapler announced earlier Wednesday that Alex Wood would be taking Webb’s spot.