Maybe it is all starting to come together. Last night, Mike Leake. Tonight Mat Latos and Brandon Phillips. But the performances from Latos and Phillips should be of no surprise. As they say, they were due. Latos is slowly finding his groove and BP looks to finally be over any lingering hamstring issues.
For Latos it will keep the detractors out of his hair for at least another outing. We know how that all work. On this night, he looked even more like the Latos that donned a Padres uniform. He is slowly getting there.
His line: 7 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 8 SO, 1 BB. He did toss 116 pitches, but 79 of those pitches were for strikes. The only hiccup came in the first inning when Latos allowed a lead-off home run to Michael Bourn. After that, only a single run in the fourth would be all teh potent Braves offense would garner off Latos.
But that 1-0 first inning deficit wouldn’t last long.
The offense that was Brandon Phillips couldn’t have happened soon enough. Phillips took a 3-2 offering from MLB ERA leader Brandon Beachy and drove the pitch out by the batter’s eye. A no-doubter. Reds 2, Braves 1. The Reds would never trail again.
As Jeff Piecoro informed us after the game, BP got a little advice from Chipper Jones. Thanks, Chipper. We appreciate it.
Zack Cozart added a solo shot in the third and Phillips would follow with a solo shot of his own in the fourth. The only scoring after that would come via another home run from Bourn. Then, it was time for Chapmania to overtake GABP.
Needless to say the past 24 hours have been a little difficult for the Cuban. The early Monday morning incident has created quote a stir. If the deal was bothering him on this night, you couldn’t tell it. He faced four batters and struck out two of them. Pitch F/X from BrooksBaseball.net showed an average of 97.94 mph with the fastest being 99.9 mph.
Taking out some frustration? Maybe. If so.
While I bring up BrooksBaseball.net, if you’re into sabermetrics and have the dates of August 4 and 5 clear, there will be a seminar held up at Boston University. Boston University’s Center for Neuroscience and Department of Physics will be sponsoring the event. Proceeds for the event will go to the Jimmy Fund.
For more information on the seminar and the Jimmy Fund, you can go here.
Dear Mr. Berthiaume,
This came across every Reds fan Twitter timeline last evening.
If Mat Latos can pitch like this every 5 days & Chapman can be a weapon at closer, #Reds will win NL Central & it won’t be close.
— Steve Berthiaume (@SBerthiaumeESPN) May 23, 2012
While I love seeing the national types pay even the smallest amount of attention to the Good Guys, it’s not always a positive matter. Usually, there’s a negative slant when the national attention given is as we’ve seen with the recent events surrounding Aroldis Chapman.
After the game, he also tweeted that with Chapman is a difference maker as the closer and it changes the picture in the NL Central. I’m sure he’s catching crap from Cards fans on that one. Even got a response from a Pirates fan wondering where the love for the Bucs was.
I’m not sure I like this attention though. Two reasons.
One, remember earlier this season when Berthiaume told Grantland’s Jonah Keri (during a podcast) that the Reds were close to signing Albert Pujols? Since that deal didn’t get done, Berthiaume stated the Reds decided then to give the money earmarked for Pujols to Joey Votto. The credibility of a certain Mothership employee was brought into question.
Those matters are unrelated. Could be showing my anti-Mothership bias. Couldn’t resist.
Two. This is the same guy that picked the Houston Astros to win the National League Central last season. Need I say more? I will. He’s no Nostradamus.
Those aren’t unrelated.
What Power Outage?
We haven’t seen a lot of the long ball this season…until the last couple of games. The Reds have cracked seven home runs in the first two games of the Braves series. This evening, they took three out against Beachy. Heading into tonight, Beachy had allowed only one home run this season. So where are we here?
Over those first two games, the Reds have a pair of two-homer games (BP tonight, Drew Stubbs last night), Zack Cozart has hit one in each of the first two games of the series. That’s six home runs from three of the top four in the lineup. Mike Leake accounts for the other.
Tomorrow night, Tommy Hanson (5-3, 3.31 ERA) will take the mound for the Braves. The Reds will counter with Bronson Arroyo (2-2, 3.46 ERA). Game time is 7:10 PM.