Cueto is giving the Giants precisely what they need in his starts. He goes deep into games and doesn’t change his demeanor at any point in the game. A calming presence on the mound, he is a perfect pitcher to have in front of tomorrow’s starter Jeff Samardzija.
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Cueto got the team into rhythm tonight, allowing the defense to relax and focus on playing their positions. Throwing seven and a third, he struck out seven and allowed only a run on three hits. Most importantly, he beat the Dodgers a different way then he did the first time out.
Given run support in the first inning, it seemed as though Cueto’s confidence seemed to increase, and he went right after the Dodgers hitters. He also used his many different wind ups to throw the timing of the hitters off. It shouldn’t be discounted how hard it is to throw strikes from different arm angles and steps towards the plate. He is a great talent on the mound.
The offense was led by a 2-5 night from Joe Panik. He joined Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford with an RBI. Crawford also made several tough plays in the field, including an over-the-shoulder grab of Klays brother, Trayce Thompson in the third inning.
The drama continued in the eighth inning when Javier Lopez gave up a rare home-run, a two-run shot to Corey Seager. Hunter Strickland and Josh Osich settled things in the inning and that set up Santiago Casilla in the ninth.
The count got to 0-2 , and Puig hit a towering fly ball to right, into Angel Pagan‘s glove, and the Giants sent the Dodgers fans home unhappy.
Tomorrow’s game will feature Samardzija against Kenta Maeda. Both teams want this win to win the series, and it would be a great confidence booster to the Giants if they can win the 5:05 pm start. It’s on ESPN and KNBR, and they will be facing a pitcher in Maeda who has not given up a run in two starts (12 innings.) Hopefully Samardzija can duplicate his performance in Colorado.