Not only was Johnny Cueto not on his game in Game 3 of the ALCS, he wasn’t on his best behaviour either.
Late last night, video surfaced from Sportsnet that showed Johnny Cueto allegedly raising his knee to the head of Kevin Pillar as he slid into home plate.Cueto yelled several expletives into his glove, looked up at the crowd, and then started yelling back at the fans.
It’s really difficult to say with certainty that Cueto’s actions here were malicious or not, but given Cueto’s history with physical altercations on the field, he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt in this particular situation.
But that wasn’t the only thing Johnny Cueto did in Game 3. During the player introductions, he was seen sarcastically tipping his cap to the Blue Jays fans. Not the worst thing in the world, but it just added fuel to the fire of the Blue Jays’ faithful.
Then in my opinion, the most surprising action of all by Johnny Cueto; at the end of the second inning, Cueto was shown yelling to the fans in the stands as he walked off the field.
I don’t think the Fox TV cameras caught it, but it was definitely shown on the Jumbotron at the Rogers Centre very briefly. Cueto yelled several expletives into his glove, looked up at the crowd, and then started yapping back at the fans.
Then when Johnny Cueto exited the game in the third inning, he actually took it quite well … even though the home crowd was mocking him mercilessly.
The Blue Jays’ offensive output was only one impressive aspect of that game, but I actually think the crowd’s involvement in Game 3 was almost just as important. It clearly rattled Johnny Cueto to the point that he couldn’t even escape the third inning.
Not only that, but Cueto lost his cool, got into it with fans and it appears as though he tried to pull something when Kevin Pillar crossed home plate.
I don’t think he’ll be suspended for those actions, but the appropriate punishment would be to bring him back out for Game 6 or 7 against the Blue Jays.
Image via Harry How/Getty Images Sport