There were a couple scenes from the 2012 playoffs that'll stick with me, and most aren't about winning or glory.
Johnny Cueto was awesome for the Reds all year.
19 wins, 9 losses, 170 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.78.
But that didn't matter after 8 pitches against the Giants in the NLDS.
I don't think any tv viewers knew about any Cueto back pain before the game.
At least I didn't, watching.
The Reds led off and you didn't have but a sip of beer before there was a commercial break.
The bottom started with ex-Cub Angel Pagan at the plate.
A couple pitches in he stepped out, called time.
But Cueto was into the motion, went through but held onto the ball, and if you were watching you thought no way.
Their stud is hurt and the game hasn't even really started.
You could tell.
Dusty's fault, right?
That's far too easy a punchline.
It was fate or bad luck.
He slept wrong or something.
Whatever it was, Cueto only lasted a couple more pitches in game number one.
When he walked off the field, he didn't look so much like he was in pain.
It was worse.
He looked like he couldn't find any oxygen.
I'm certainly no Reds fan, but as a Cubs fan when I see the weird and random hand of my favorite game's gods at work, I can relate.
I did a couple of these "sportraits of agony" in my sketchbook.
Thought I was being all original.
Then I googled it, and there are about a hundred "sportraits".
Lastly, pitchers and catchers report in 26 days on February 10.