Before you retire for evening

Since it’s very late on a Friday night in Cincinnati and there are NCAA games ongoing with two No. 2 seeds already falling (wow), I will bag the postgame notes blog and give it all to you now. I started writing as Drew Stubbs went deep with a three-run home run and the Reds sent 10 to the plate in a four-run second inning.

Here is what I know:

*Mat Latos has looked very good tonight. Latos was perfect the first two innings and finished with 4 ip, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP. I didn’t see any radar gun readings, but he was firing some serious gas at hitters.

*LHP Bill Bray and RHP Nick Masset each threw 30 pitches in the bullpen today with what head trainer Paul Lessard said was with “Very good intensity.” Lessard, Bryan Price and Dusty Baker still have to meet to go over the plan for both pitchers and closer Ryan Madson. Don’t be surprised to see these guys in games sometime next week though. They still likely have to get into simulated or minor league games first, however.

*Entering the night, the Reds were ranked 29th out of 30 teams in pitching with a 5.93 ERA and had dropped seven of eight games. Pitching here is a lot different than in Florida camps. The air is thinner, the balls are dryer and they carry a lot farther. Baker urged people to put these games in the right perspective.

“You like to do well and perform well but we put far too much importance on Spring Training and Spring Training results,” Baker said Friday. “This is called ‘training.’ Let’s not lose sight of that word. I bet nobody remembers who won the ERA title in spring or the batting title or who won the Cactus League championship. The Diamondbacks, they said last year, were the worst team in baseball. I remember them writing that they were an embarrassment.

“You’re in the process of sifting out who is going to be here, who is going to help you.”

*I did a feature that should be up soon on the mentoring relationship Bronson Arroyo has had with Mike Leake since Leake broke into the Majors in 2010. I thought this was an interesting quote from Arroyo:

“I didn’t even know his name when I told Dusty Baker I thought that kid would be pretty good,” Arroyo said. “I didn’t know anything about him and I hadn’t seen him throw a bullpen, nothing. There was something about the way he walked around here.”

*Before Friday’s game, 2012 Hall of Fame electee and Reds great Barry Larkin threw out a ceremonial first pitch. Former Reds star Eric Davis caught Larkin’s pitch while flanked by Hall of Famers Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan. It’s just the start of likely many homages to Larkin this year. His actual induction to Cooperstown is July 22.

*Over in Phillies camp, ex-Reds LHP Dontrelle Willis was released today. Willis had a 16.88 ERA and four walks over 2 2/3 innings pitched in three games.

*First pitch temperature: 82 degrees.


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