First win for Latos
Believe it or not, the Reds 9-2 win over the Giants wasn’t just a first victory as a Red for Mat Latos. It was the team’s first win at night this season. The latter part was merely trivial.
The outcome of the game was not…especially as the bats superbly backed up a very nice outing by Latos. More on him in a few lines…
The Reds have won four of their last five games to improve their record to 8-9.
The Three Stars of the game….
No. 3 star: Jay Bruce — 2-for-3 with a walk. Bruce’s bases loaded double was lined to the right field wall for two runs in the six-run 7th inning that blew the game open. Following that 0-for-19 skid, Bruce now has a five-game hitting streak where he is 8-for-20.
No. 2 star: Brandon Phillips — 2-for-3, 3 RBIs. It was Phillips two-run homer off of Matt Cain with two outs in the bottom of the first inning that gave Cincinnati a 2-0 lead. Cain had taken a streak of 18 scoreless innings into the start.
“It was something slow,” Phillips said of the 2-2 home run pitch. “It felt good coming off of my bat, I’ll tell you that. It felt good getting things going for the guys, especially with Cain pitching. He doesn’t make that many mistakes, but he made a mistake with me and I took advantage of it.”
And the No. 1 star… Mat Latos — 7 ip, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 95 pitches/66 strikes. Latos did not give up an extra base hit and enjoyed a very strong performance for his first win as a Red. He had 48 pitches through five innings and showed something as he battled through a two-out bases loaded jam in the sixth. He used 37 pitches in the inning, including 19 in some hard-fought duels with Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey. There were some close calls in both plate appearances. Latos also threw first-pitch strikes to 19 of his 26 batters.
“I can be emotional sometimes,” Latos said. “I was excited to get out of that inning without giving up a run. It was a 2-0 ballgame at that point. That’s a big inning. I get out of that and everybody can exhale. I just wanted to let it all out. I was fired up to get that out.”
News and notes:
*During the big seventh inning after Bruce’s double, Scott Rolen scorched a line drive to left field for a two-run double. After some misses in the previous at-bats with RISP, it was sorely needed. The double was No. 504 of his career, tying him with Roberto Alomar for 50th all time.
*Drew Stubbs was 2-for-4 with a RBI single and a sac bunt in the third inning that drew a loud applause. Stubbs has been on a tear since moving to the second spot.
*There were bench warnings issued to both teams in the ninth inning. In the seventh, Giants reliever Dan Otero hit Joey Votto on the behind with a pitch. Votto gave Otero a brief stare as he politely picked up the ball and tossed it back to the pitcher. In the ninth, Sam LeCure threw a pitch at Buster Posey’s legs, bringing the warning. Posey got payback though with a two-run homer.
*Reds pitchers have a 2.80 ERA when Ryan Hanigan catches. The team is also 7-3 when he is behind the plate.
“Nobody really wants to go out there and get the crap kicked out of them. It’s definitely some weight lifted off of my shoulders. It’s a positive to take into my next outing.” — Mat Latos
“He was hitting all of spots and looked real good today. I was very proud of him.” — Brandon Phillips on Latos.
“His pitch count was relatively low tonight, especially the first five innings. Then he ran into trouble in the sixth, or else he could have still been pitching. He was throwing an outstanding breaking ball. He used his fastball a lot more, throwing 94-95. That’s the Latos that we know. It was good to get him that first win, big time.” — Dusty Baker