You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Reds have faith in Cueto, who gets Wild Card start

Johnny Cueto conducted a pregame interview Sunday steps away from a sign Reds players see every time they walk up the dugout steps: “Expect to win.”

Despite a horrendous final homestand, which concluded with a 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday at Great American Ball Park, that expectation remains for the Reds. They will turn to Cueto at 8:07 p.m. Tuesday in Pittsburgh in the National League Wild card playoff game, hoping to put a five-game losing streak behind them. Tuesday’s winner will play on the road against the Cardinals in the NL Division Series on Thursday.

Two pitchers who grew up 60 miles apart in the Dominican Republic, Cueto and the Pirates’ Francisco Liriano, will take the mound with two long-suffering fan bases behind them. The Reds haven’t won a postseason series in 18 years. The Pirates’ drought stretches to 1979.

It’s a big game for the Reds and also for Cueto. Realizing the significance of the game, Cueto had a special message for his home country.

“I want to tell my people in the Dominican Republic to follow this game,” Cueto said. “There’s two Dominicans on the mound. I want to give advice to all the youth. You have to work hard and continue working hard to do things like this.”

Cueto was named the starter Saturday when Mat Latos informed pitching coach Bryan Price that his arm was hurting — or “barking,” as Reds manager Dusty Baker described it. The opportunity gives Cueto the chance to redeem himself after leaving the first game of the 2012 playoffs, a Division Series game against the Giants, with back spasms.

Latos came to the rescue in that game, pitching four innings of relief off the bench. Now it’s Cueto being called on to replace Latos. Cueto is 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA in a season that has featured three trips to the disabled list. He’s 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in two starts since returning from the DL on Sept. 16.

“We’ve got full faith in Johnny Cueto,” Baker said. “Hopefully, this works out fine. We win Tuesday, and Latos comes back to be ready Thursday. If not, we’ll go in a different direction.”

Baker said Latos suggested he could pitch in relief Tuesday if needed. Baker didn’t like that idea.

“I’m going to suggest that he’s not on the roster at all in that first game,” Baker said. “We’ll put him on the roster if he shows marked improvement once we get to Atlanta or St. Louis.”

Cingrani update: Baker said the Reds may send injured starter Tony Cingrani to Arizona to get some work, just in case he might be called upon to pitch in the postseason. Cingrani hasn’t pitched since Sept. 10 because of a back injury.

“He could probably go a couple of innings (Sunday),” Baker said, “but it’s not fair to him or us for him to go more than that. He’s too valuable to our future.”

Final stats: Jay Bruce fell two doubles short of becoming the 45th player in Major League history with at least 45 doubles, 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in a season. Bruce finished with a career-high 43 doubles, 30 home runs and a career-high 109 RBIs. He also struck out a career-high 184 times.

Joey Votto became the first Red to appear in all 162 games since Aaron Boone in 2002. He reached base 316 times, a Reds record.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Dayton Flyers, VCU poised for another A-10 showdown
Dayton Flyers, VCU poised for another A-10 showdown

Two seasons ago, Dayton Flyers coach Archie Miller walked into the visiting locker room at Virginia Commonwealth’s Siegel Center and yelled, “Hell yeah, baby!” On Feb. 28, 2015, Dayton recorded what was then and what still is one of the most important victories of Miller’s tenure, knocking off No. 22 VCU 59-55 in Richmond with...
NBA’s last two defending champs both have plenty to work out
NBA’s last two defending champs both have plenty to work out

A funny thing is happening on the way to Cavs-Warriors III in the NBA Finals. Or maybe it’s not. We’re only in January, after all. Cleveland is in first place in the East and Golden State stands atop the Western Conference standings, but both teams have lately dealt with questions about whether or not they have fatal flaws. LeBron James...
Archie Miller credits ‘electric crowds’ for last two wins
Archie Miller credits ‘electric crowds’ for last two wins

Dayton Flyers coach Archie Miller looked back Monday on victories against Richmond and Saint Louis, talking with WHIO’s Larry Hansgen and fans during the coach’s show at Fricker’s on Woodman Drive. Here are some highlights: On the two wins last week: “It was a good week for us. Anytime you can come off the road with a two-game...
Reds prospect Nick Senzel gets another honor after huge Dragons season
Reds prospect Nick Senzel gets another honor after huge Dragons season

In case you needed another indication Nick Senzel has a bright future, here you go: rated the Cincinnati Reds’ most-recent No. 1 draft pick the second-best third-baseman prospect out there. The former Tennessee standout was already named the Reds’ best prospect by Baseball America after a super season with the Dayton Dragons last...
Ben Roethlisberger delivers ominous quotes about his football future
Ben Roethlisberger delivers ominous quotes about his football future

As long as the Steelers have the best quarterback in the AFC North, they figure to be contenders to win the division. But what if Ben Roethlisberger weren’t back in Gold and Black next season? Appearing on 93.7 The Fan radio in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, he said he is “going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options.&rdquo...
More Stories