Game 48 – A Warning To Johnny Cueto
Box Score / Highlights
Star of the Game – Wellington Castillo – .380 (WPA)
The Cubs won a good game in 10 today beating the Reds 5-4 on Wellington Castillo double that drove home Scott Hairston. On top of doing to a good team what so many good teams have done to the Cubs this year, things seemed to get out of hand pretty quickly today. The Cubs kicked the clutch in when it was needed and they may have lost an important piece again in the midst.
Soriano hit a clutch 2R HR in the 8th to bring the game even after Garza was only able to last 4 innings, throwing 96 pitches but striking out a bunch. Yet, with the game turning out favorably for the Cubby fans, thing did escalate rather quickly.
So today I have two topics that really need discussion: 1) How broken is Fujikawa; and 2) Is Matt Garza going to fight Cueto?
Fujikawa left the game again in the ninth shaking his arm in apparent pain. This begs the question: How broken is Fujikawa?
48 games in to this tenderly young season we have seen Fuji take a step off the mound, breathe deep, shake his arm, and the trainer sprint out to the mound. That is not good. Typically with forearm strains, as we have learned over the years as Cubs fans, the prognosis isn’t good, after the first one. Here we are, number two in the books and looking down the barrel of a significant injury.
I would say regardless of a diagnosis of mild (which at the time of writing the diagnosis hasn’t been made yet) it is cause for concern with the Japanese product. The scouting report on him coming out of Japan was that he had great command, break, and was an excellent closer, in fact the best in the league over the last few years. He had a consistent tract record and the only knock on him was that he had some mileage on his arm for a youngish reliever. I hope that this is something that is caused by him just getting used to a new training program here in the States If not, the investment, although not huge in dollar amounts, still leaves a glaring hole in an already unstable weakness on the team. Here is to hoping he turns it around or that the Sanchez kid claimed off waivers from the Cardinals last week figured something out in his one appearance with AAA Iowa.
To tackle the second question: Is Matt Garza going to fight Johnny Cueto? Perhaps.
Matt Garza was hot after the game because of Cueto throwing at DeJesus’ head. One thing can be said about Matt Garza and that is that he is undeniably one of the best teammates of all time. He basically said if Cueto wasn’t going to come to talk to him about it he was going to go find Cueto’s locker to talk to him. The pitch was uncalled for, as any pitch at the head, and Garza wasn’t going to let it go unnoticed.
Garza made statements that would allude to the fact that next time he has Cueto at the plate he would settle the score. The unwritten code of baseball would say that the next time the Cubs and Reds play, one of the Reds star players gets plunked in the hip and the game goes on, the score settled. Garza didn’t seem like that is how he intended to settle this one. Matt made it known that it was a chump move made by Cueto and he took issue with Cueto personally.
This is something to watch for in the future.