San Francisco, CA – Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto suffered a back injury in the first inning of the opener of their National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants.
Cueto struck out Angel Pagan to begin the bottom of the first inning, but was removed from the game with back spasms after delivering a pair of strikes to Marco Scutaro. Cueto made just eight pitches in Cincinnati's 5-2 win.
With the count 0-2, Cueto was replaced by Sam LeCure. who retired Scutaro on a ground ball to second base. Another grounder to second by Pablo Sandoval ended the 1-2-3 first inning.
"He was in quite a bit of pain out there after he threw the pitch," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "So the fact that he said he's better, and Johnny is usually pretty honest with us, that gives us a glimmer of hope that he might be back."
Cueto, who is listed as day-to-day, set a major league record for fewest batters faced by a starter in postseason play.
"When I was throwing, long toss, nothing happened, everything was feeling well," Cueto said. "As I went to the bullpen, I was warming up and everything went perfect. It was only on the last two throws when I felt a sharp pain on my right side. Then I was getting ready to go back to the dugout, I just went and talked to the head trainer and told him about ... he put some heat on it and we communicated to Bryan (Price) what happened."