The Cincinnati Reds used a gutsy performance from Mat Latos, who was sick with a stomach problem, to shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-0 in the finale of their series in Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon. This came after the Reds barely crossed the plate on Saturday, losing 3-2.
Latos was not overwhelming as he struggled early with control walking the bases loaded in the first. Fortunately, he was bailed out by a great play at 3rd from Todd Frazier that saved at least 2 runs. That seemed to settle Latos down to get him out of the inning unscathed. When Latos exited the game after six innings, he had struck out 11 and walked 3. He improved to 2-2 and now has a 4.93 ERA.
On the offensive end of the game, the Cincinnati Reds lit up Pirate pitching collecting 10 hits and pushing across 5 runs, all earned. With the exception of Brandon Phillips, all everyday players collected at least 1 hit.
Drew Stubbs really came through on Sunday, going 3 for 4, scoring 3 runs and knocking in 2. He raised his batting average to .262. Hopefully, he can get on a roll and get that average up around .290.
The Cincinnati Reds’ bullpen completed the shut out for Latos, pitching 3 scoreless innings. They have now gone 20 innings without giving up a run. They are, statistically, the best bullpen in the league. JJ Hoover, Aroldis Chapman and Alfredo Simon combined to allow 1 hit and strike out 6, 2 a piece.
The flame throwing, and personal favorite of mine, Chapman now has 23 strike outs and an ERA of 0.00. I will say it again. The Cincinnati Reds must find a more important spot for Chapman. Might I suggest starting pitching?
The Cinninnati Reds are finally above .500 at 14-13. They will look to take another series as they stay on the road with the Milwaukee Brewers in a 3-game set starting Monday evening.