Reds' Pitcher Johnny Cueto off to Historic Start in 2014

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Reds' Pitcher Johnny Cueto off to Historic Start in 2014
Al Behrman/Associated Press

With Wednesday's complete game shutout—his second of the season—Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds has accumulated a streak of nine straight starts lasting seven innings or more and allowing two runs or less. He's the first pitcher since Harry Krause in 1909 to start the season with such a streak, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Krause finished 18-8 in his historic 1909 campaign, posting a 1.39 ERA and 0.94 WHIP over 213 innings. Cueto has bested him in terms of these ratios so far, owning a 1.25 ERA and 0.71 WHIP following Thursday's start. Cueto has also edged Krause in the strikeout department, owning a 9.5 K/9 compared to Krause's mark of 5.9. Of course, the two pitched a century apart, making it difficult for these stats to be truly comparable.

Cueto's career-best start has also came with personal milestones, as he has never recorded more than one complete-game shutout in any single regular season. His ERA and WHIP would also set personal marks if he's able to sustain them over the course of the season.

However, a .160 BABIP, 3.15 FIP and 99.5 percent strand rate entering Thursday (according to Fangraphs) suggest that his numbers are bound to come back down to earth at some point. 

Regardless, Cueto will continue to ride one of the all-time great starts while serving as the ace of the Reds' rotation. Cueto leads the staff in strikeouts (76) and wins (four), while boasting a league-leading ERA. He's also logged more innings pitched (72) than any other pitcher in baseball.

Cueto remains in search of his first career All-Star selection, and it's looking like this just might be the year for the 28-year-old.


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