Johnny Cueto
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Giants tab Johnny Cueto to start Opening Day


Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group reports that Johnny Cueto will start on Opening Day, March 26 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, for the Giants. He’ll be followed in the rotation by Jeff Samardzija.

For the Giants, it’s their third different Opening Day starter in as many years. Prior to that Madison Bumgarner started four consecutive Opening Days. Cueto started four consecutive Opening Days for the Reds from 2012-15.

Cueto, 34, did not make his 2019 season debut until September 10 as he was rehabbing after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2018. Over four starts spanning 16 innings, he gave up nine runs on 11 hits and nine walks with 13 strikeouts.

Cueto’s numbers haven’t been great this spring, as he has allowed nine runs on 13 hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. However, a lot of that damage was done in Tuesday’s Cactus League start against the Cubs. He has otherwise looked good enough to manager Gabe Kapler to merit the Opening Day nod.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.