Braves vs. Reds: LHP Mike Minor vs. RHP Mat Latos


Atlanta Braves (67-61) vs. Cincinnati Reds (61-67)

LHP Mike Minor (5-8, 5.16 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, .304 OAV) vs. RHP Mat Latos (4-3, 3.10 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, .208 OAV)

Friday, August 22, 2014: 7:10 p.m. at Great American Ball Park

The former first-round pick is coming off his first season of throwing 200+ plus innings at the Major League level and has regressed significantly. Missing the first month of the season due to injury, Minor has not been worthy of his hype so far in 2014.

A string of six consecutive starts of getting a decision has begun his downfall with the first being his last start before the All-Star break and the other his first start after the break. In both, he allowed six earned runs, spiking his ERA up into the five’s.

For his career, Minor is 2-1 against the Redlegs with a 3.18 ERA in three career starts. Last season, he tossed two seven-inning efforts that placed him in the win column each time.

Here is the lineup he will face via the team’s Twitter account:

CF – Billy Hamilton (yet to face Minor)
1B – Todd Frazier (0-for-8, 1 BB, 5 K’s)
2B – Brandon Phillips (1-for-8, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K’s)
C – Devin Mesoraco (0-for-5, 1 BB)
RF – Jay Bruce (1-for-7, 2 BB’s, 3 K’s)
LF – Ryan Ludwick (2-for-6)
3B – Kristopher Negron (yet to face Minor)
SS – Zack Cozart (4-for-10, 1 3B, 2 HR’s, 2 RBI)
P – Mat Latos (0-for-2, 1 K)

Even after an uncharacteristically average start from Mat Latos his last time out in Colorado, he was in line for the victory in the first game of the doubleheader. After the combination of Aroldis Chapman and J.J. Hoover whisked the game away, Latos was left with a no decision.

At home in Great American Ball Park, Latos is 20-6 all-time, good for nearly a 77 percent winning percentage. His ERA is just a fraction above three and it is the only park outside of AT&T Park in San Francisco in which he has gone the distance. With a depleted, struggling bullpen, Latos will be called upon to deliver an ace-like performance.

It was at Turner Field last season that Latos produced his worst start of the year, going just four innings and allowing six runs on nine hits. His career numbers against Atlanta are a bit more balanced out with a career ERA 3.54 and nearly a strikeout per inning (37 in 40.2 innings).

Here is the lineup he will face via the team’s Twitter account:

RF – Jason Heyward (4-for-10, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K’s)
CF – Emilio Bonifacio (3-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K)
1B – Freddie Freeman (7-for-12, 3 2B, 6 RBI, 2 K’s)
LF – Justin Upton (6-for-14, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB’s, 4 K’s)
3B – Chris Johnson (7-for-17, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 K’s)
2B – Tommy La Stella (yet to face Latos)
SS – Andrelton Simmons (1-for-2, 1 BB)
C – Gerald Laird (2-for-3)
P – Mike Minor (1-for-2, 1 K)

Looking to snap what has been a torturous six-game losing streak for the Reds, Latos will look to defend his home turf much in the way he has in the past. On a night where they will launch fireworks regardless, the Redlegs will look to make them celebratory, opposed to somber.