Another win for Latos

The home half of the Ohio Cup series was successful for the Reds, which swept two games from the Indians after an 8-2 win Tuesday. Click here to read the full story from Jeremy Warnemuende, which will focus on the offense and a pivotal seventh inning.

Mat Latos had another strong outing: 6 1/3 ip, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, 102 pitches/61 strikes. The Reds are 7-0 in Latos’ last seven starts. Overall, he is 5-0 with a 3.01 ERA in 11 starts.

“It’s two starts, Miami and here today, where everything felt like it was good,” Latos said. “The mechanics were kind of in-sync. My arm was feeling good. My body was feeling good. Pitchers always say pathetically that they have five good days where you have your best stuff, and five days that you don’t and the rest are just mediocre in between. I felt like I had good stuff today. That was key for a good-hitting lineup and a good ballclub in general.”

Other items of note:

*With first base open after a Joey Votto steal in the Reds’ fifth inning, Brandon Phillips was plunked in the side bya 2-0 pitch from Zach McAlister. Phillips calmly retrieved the ball and flipped it to the home plate umpire Chad Fairchild. However, no warnings were issued to the benches by Fairchild. Ditto for when Shin-Soo Choo was hit on the arm by a Scott Barnes 2-1 pitch. It was an 81-mph slider, however.

*Before the game, both sides appeared willing to move on from the Chapman-Swisher dustup from Monday. To read about that, and Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton’s comments regarding his call of that incident, click here. Latos also chimed in postgame that he thought the Phillips plunking was “100 percent” intentional but understood it was Cleveland protecting its players and accepted it. “We’re even,” Latos said. “We’re Switzerland I guess and we’ll let it go.”

*It was a very good top of the seventh for the Reds bullpen. Dusty Baker visited Latos following one-out walk of pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn. Baker let Latos continue but he then walked Michael Bourn on four pitches to put the tying run on first base. Lefty Manny Parra was summoned to face lefty hitting Jason Kipnis. Parra threw three breaking balls — his only pitches of the night — to strike out Kipnis looking. It was a big boost for Parra, who struggled before going on the DL last month. He returned to replace an injured Sean Marshall.

“I think it just instills confidence in you, you know?” Parra said. “You get the call. You get to go in that situation. It’s a lot of fun to pitch in that situation too.”

*Sam LeCure over from Parra and struck out Asdrubal Cabrera to end the threat. LeCure has stranded all six inherited runners this season. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last eight appearances.

*The Reds, now 33-19, have won seven of their last eight and 14 of 17.

*The Reds put the leadoff in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. They came up empty during innings 3-6 before hitting paydirt with four runs in the seventh. The first run came home when Devin Mesoraco hit a squib in front of the plate. Catcher Carlos Santana made an ill-advised high throw over first base for a single and error that scored Phillips. Nine men batted in the inning.

*The Reds and Indians will shift over to Cleveland on Wednesday evening for the first of two games at Progressive Field. It will mark the first time that the Reds have traveled immediately following a home night game since Sept. 5, 2001, when they flew to Pittsburgh to begin a series after a game against the Astros. The Houston game was originally scheduled for the afternoon but was moved to accommodate national television. I will catch from Cleveland tomorrow evening.


You would have thought that with all our winning we have done recently, 17 of 20, that we would be on top of the heap; not so. Those pesky Cards sit atop the division by 1 1/2 games. They have won 6 of 7 with stellar pitching and clutch hitting, although they have lost a few SPs to injury. Maybe that will slow them down a bit.

The Cardinal organization is extraordinarily deep in pitching talent. They have yet to skip a beat, and they may not miss one at all.

correction: 14 of 17.

Since being out of the lineup for a couple of days due to “dehydration”, Cozart has really turned it around. On 5/21 he was batting .206 while heading in a downward trend toward the Mendoza line. He is now batting .242 and has now hit safely in nine of his last 11 games, batting .340 (17-for-50) in those contests after hitting just .186 in the previous 11. Huge lift for the team and means more R. Paul is tearing the hide off the ball himself and appears to be more than a bench player. He fields LF a bit bizarrely but does an adequate job. However, his bat has been very clutch recently. Could he be vying for fulltime status in LF? (90 GM, .278/.398/.389/.787; OBP is really solid.

BTW…Cozart has stated that the recent change is due to him “attacking” the first few pitches, rather than waiting to see a few. There is no doubt that the kid is a good FB hitting player and batting between Choo and Vott (Phillips, Bruce) pretty much assures him of seeing a FB or two.
Hopefully he will continue the recent success. If he can raise his BA to .260-.270, and an above .300 OBP, he will be gold given his credentials with the leather. I have noticed that he has increased his ability to bunt this season over last; of course, it appears that Dusty is calling for the SAC a bit more than last season.

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