I had questioned, in a previous blog, as to whether Mat Latos would become the number two pitcher the Cincinnati Reds had traded to get. My conclusion was that he is a slow starter and will be the pitcher the Reds need. Well, Tuesday night the season began for Mat Latos.
Latos pitched a gem of a game against an old Western Division foe, the San Francisco Giants. He scattered 4 hits (all singles), allowed 2 base-on-balls, struck out 3, allowed no runs in 7 innings of work to pick up his first win as a Cincinnati Red.
This was the type of pitching that Mat Latos is capable of. He moved the ball in and out, kept the ball down and got ahead in the count. If he can continue at this level, the Cincinnati Reds will be a force to reckon with in the Central Division.
At the plate, the Reds sort of bookended (sic) their hitting. Brandon Phillips opened the game with a 2-run blast to put the Reds up 2-0. It would remain that way until the 6th inning when the Reds batted around and broke open a tight game. Phillips led the way, as all starting, everyday players got at least one hit (except for Joey Votto), with 3 RBI. He sat out the last 2 innings to rest his hamstring.
Mat Latos improved his record for the season to 1 and 2. His ERA dropped to 5.64. He admitted that he had been pressing in previous starts. He certainly didn’t press on Tuesday night.
Jose Arredondo pitched a perfect 8th, striking out 2. Sam LeCure came in the 9th and made things interesting. LeCure threw a pitch behind Buster Posey in retaliation for Votto being hit with a pitch earlier in the game. This prompted a warning to both benches. Posey, subsequently sent one over the fence to breakup the shut out. It will be interesting to see if anything more happens on Wedneday, as the two teams will square off again at GABP.