Johnny Cueto has been a workhorse for the White Sox since he made his debut with the team on May 16. After Tuesday night’s win over the Angels, Cueto has now pitched six or more innings in seven of his eight starts. He’s given up three or fewer earned runs in seven of eight starts, too. But after the game, Cueto admitted it was a struggle to earn yet another quality start.
“I told (the hitters), just hit homers,” Cueto said through an interpreter. “Let’s put the ball in the air, because the ball is carrying today.”
Cueto knew firsthand, because he was roughed up for three solo home runs in the third inning. After the game, he said he wasn’t feeling like himself at the time, and he had to grind to get through the sequence.
“At the beginning of the game I was feeling weak,” Cueto said. “I didn’t have the strength I usually have when I pitch and I had to reach way, way back to try to get going, and to finally get into a rhythm during the game.
“I think I felt my body, like, dying,” Cueto added in English. “I feel all my body: my legs, my arm, everything. Yeah, tired. I don’t know how, but it was a good, quality start. I take it, you know?”
After giving it a little bit more thought, Cueto revealed it was the White Sox power surge in the fifth innings that gave him the strength to finish his start with two effective innings.
“After the homers, you have to do it.”
Cueto’s seven starts with six innings or more now lead the team, despite the fact he debuted over a month into the season. His start on Tuesday also made it five-straight games for White Sox starters going at least six deep. Now, the team will hope this performance gives him the strength to keep powering through to the All-Star break.