Welcome to Kansas City, Johnny Cueto!
Making his home debut for the Kansas City Royals, Cueto made a strong impression upon the Royals faithful, firing a four hit shutout over the Detroit Tigers last night. The recently acquired ace was truly dominant, striking out eight without issuing a walk, throwing 86 of his 116 pitches for strikes.
In that outing, Cueto gave the Royals, and their fanbase, a glimpse at that piece that was missing last season. As much as James Shields meant to the Royals and helped guide them into being a winning ballclub once again, he just was not on the same level as Madison Bumgarner. Now, the Royals have a pitcher that allows them to match ace for ace, a stopper that can turn the momentum of a playoff series.
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The fanbase certainly appreciates what he means to the Kansas City Royals. The ovation he received when he went out for the ninth inning was incredible. It continued throughout the inning, and for quite some time after Cueto recorded the final out to complete the shutout. When Salvador Perez properly introduced him to the Royals, dousing him with the traditional cooler of Gatorade, the loud cheers somehow became louder.
Yes, it is just one start over the course of the season. Yes, the Detroit Tigers are not the Tigers of old, nor are they even the same team from the beginning of the year. Likewise, Cueto has had all of three starts for the Royals thus far. However, one cannot argue with the results thus far, as he has posted a 2.05 ERA and a 0.909 WHiP.
While the calender has yet to flip to October, Cueto has been exactly what the Royals have hoped for. Even though his postseason track record is not the best, with a 0-2 record and a 5.19 ERA in his three appearances, Cueto still provides that hope, and the type of starter needed to lift the Royals upon his back and carry them through the playoffs.
Johnny Cueto has already become a fan favorite for the Kansas City Royals, with dreadlock wigs and his funky delivery. Just imagine the place he could occupy if the Royals bring home a World Series, riding Cueto’s right arm to the title.