Johnny Cueto Paints Masterpiece In San Francisco Giants Win
By Michael Saltzman
For only the second time in Major League history, a team has started the season winning their first two games 1-0 as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers again behind a Johnny Cuetos masterpiece.
It is also the first time it has ever been done on the road and also the only time it came against the defending National League Champions. Joe Panik, who scored the only run yesterday with a solo home run off Clayton Kershaw, did it again tonight, this time against closer Kenley Jansen. Johnny Cueto flirted with a perfect game tonight against the Dodgers before allowing a single hit over seven shutout innings.
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Chris Taylor broke up Cueto’s perfect game with a clean single to begin the seventh inning, but a double play and a fly out ended Cueto’s masterpiece.
Cueto joined the Giants in 2016 and immediately became a fan favorite. His first three starts each went seven innings of work and produced a win.
Last season, Cueto struggled to stay healthy and there were many questions about whether or not he would return to his 2016 form.
So far, it is clear that Johnny Cueto is back to being the ace the Giants need him to be.
That cannot be understated, considering the injuries to Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija.
Samardzija may return soon, but Bumgarner will be out for a few months, and his absence will be sorely missed.
Injuries have been relentless to the Giants in the final days leading up to the start of the season, but the remaining members of the 25-man roster have certainly done enough to make up for the absences so far. Whether that can continue into April and May remains to be seen.
If Cueto can continue to pitch the way he did in 2016, the Giants will be able to minimize the loss.
Next: Hunter Strickland Making Case to Remain the Closer
Alex Wood was equally brilliant for the Dodgers, allowing one hit over eight innings, not allowing any runs despite three errors behind him. The Dodgers ended up with a total of four errors in the game.
Hunter Strickland, who has taken over as the closer for San Francisco with an injury to Mark Melancon, earned his second save in as many days.