Photo credit: @BR_MLB
By Jeremy Harness
Johnny Cueto’s season could not have gotten off to a better start.
He started the year by winning his first three decisions with an earned-run average of under 1.00. Then he started feeling tightness in his pitching elbow, and it never really went away.
It has come to a point where Cueto had to make a decision to scrap this season in order to save the rest of his career. He has elected to have season-ending Tommy John surgery, which he is scheduled to have Thursday in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, according to multiple reports.
Tommy John surgery has a recovery time of a full year, and due to that, Cueto is expected to be out until late in the 2019 season.
This is obviously a big blow to a Giants pitching staff that has been struggling to get back on track after injuries to Madison Bumgarner as well as Cueto, and it certainly limits their ability to make up much ground against a Los Angeles Dodgers team that is surging and made a couple of big moves before the trading deadline.
While Cueto is getting operated on, the Giants will be kicking off a four-game series in Arizona that night against the Diamondbacks. Bumgarner will take the hill on Thursday opposite D-Backs righty Zack Greinke.
Bumgarner (3-4) has won two of his last three decisions, but he dropped his latest outing last Friday, a 3-1 home loss against the Milwaukee Brewers, a game that saw him go eight innings and give up three runs on six hits.
Greinke, meanwhile, has been rolling. He has amassed an eye-popping mark of 12-5 and has won eight of his last nine decisions, including each of his last seven. His latest appearance came in a 6-2 win at san Diego, during which he surrendered only a run on six hits over seven solid innings.