December 4, 2012
Thou Shalt Not Run on Johnny Cueto
On September 7, 2010, in the second inning of a game between the Reds and the Rockies, Eric Young Jr. stole second base. The pitcher was Johnny Cueto, who hasn't allowed a steal of second in 61 starts since then.
Cueto possesses one of baseball's best pickoff moves (he caught Young off second base in the fourth inning of the same game), and runners are 2-for-15 against him over the past two years: On June 14, 2011, Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon swiped third base against Cueto. On July 3, 2012, Dodgers third baseman Luis Cruz stole home.
Otherwise, since Young's success, 12 men have tried to steal second against Cueto; all have failed. Several more were picked off first base (they weren't all necessarily trying to steal). Some were picked off first and caught stealing. Here are his victims:
Date: June 4, 2011 (box)
But we're interested in what happened much earlier. With two out in the top of the first, Ethier grounded into a 1-6 force play. He then got picked off first with a 1-2 count on Matt Kemp.
Taking the bat out of Kemp's hands was a good idea. His grand slam in the eighth off Logan Ondrusek tied the game, and his RBI groundout in the 11th brought home Aaron Miles for the Dodgers' final run.