Dominican pelotero Johnny Cueto is always fun to watch. His long, fabulous dreadlocks are famous all over the league. His back-to-the-batter, slow-motion delivery is definitely good baseball, but it could also be a low key drunk bachata move. The point is that he’s one hell of a pitcher. Last night, he tossed a gem against the Mets’ red-hot offense; he went the whole game only allowing one run after surrendering a mere two hits.
Cueto came to Kansas City in late July after years of being the ace of a Cincinnati team that never quite met expectations. He took some time to get his act together on his new team. During the regular season, he posted a 4.76 ERA while losing seven games and only winning four.
Then the postseason came. In series-deciding Game 5 of the ALDS against the Astros, he was stellar. Johnny gave a great post-game interview in which he used the third person to refer to his own brilliance.
“This is what people should expect from Johnny Cueto,” he said modestly.
At the ALCS, he was back in bad shape. He lasted only two innings before surrendering eight runs playing on the road. That is what you get with Cueto, a volcanic character than can either amuse or annoy you, but never bore you.
Then last night happened. He was facing Mets wonderboy Jacob DeGrom on his home field, since the Royals are quite aware of his proclivity to lose it on the road. Not only did he beat DeGrom, he went the whole game giving KC’s relievers much-needed rest after Game 1, one of the longest in baseball history. Now the Royals are 2-0 up, thanks in big part to the guy from San Pedro de Macorís.