The move to sign Johnny Cueto this offseason is proving to be a good one by San Francisco management. The 30 year old Dominican is 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA on the season and has provided the Giants with a solid number two, or even a co-ace with Madison Bumgarner in the rotation.
On Monday night Cueto will take the mound looking for his seventh win of the season, and if he were to defeat the Padres, whom he is 6-1 against in his last seven starts facing the NL West foes, Cueto would become the first San Francisco Giants pitcher since Jason Schmidt to get a win in seven of his first ten starts of a season.
Cueto has already tossed two complete games against San Diego this year and has allowed just one run combined in those two starts, earning his two best game scores of the season at 81 (May 18) and 83 (April 26).
Schmidt accomplished his feat back in 2004 in his age 31 season and finished the year with an 18-7 record and a 3.20 ERA, following up his runner-up Cy Young season in 2003 in which he went 17-5 with a 2.34 ERA.
Schmidt finished the season second on the team in WAR with a 7.0 mark trailing just Barry Bonds, who put up a 10.6 WAR, but more than doubled J.T. Snow's third place WAR of 3.3. Cueto is on pace for roughly a 5.0 WAR with the way he has been pitching this season. He currently holds a 1.6, trailing only Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija's 1.8 WARs.
2004 was Schmidt's last dominant season, as he would play four more seasons between 2005 and 2009, putting up a 26-22 record with a 4.16 ERA over those years which were plagued with shoulder injuries which eventually landed him in Los Angeles for his final two seasons.
The Giants are 6-0 against San Diego this season and have won their last eight contests, as well as 14 of 17 overall dating back to last season.
Here is tonight's lineup: CF Span, 2B Tomlinson, 3B Duffy, C Posey, LF Pagan, 1B Belt, SS Crawford, RF Blanco, P Cueto.