Saturday, April 16, 2011

Latos OK, Padres lose

Mat  Latos looked a little sharper and stronger today than in his season debut. His pitch meter after six innings was at 78 -- 16 fewer than his six-inning performance here against the Reds. Four of his innings today went 1-2-3. So, Bud Black had a decent reason to send Latos out for the seventh with the score tied. (Then again, Latos, after his failed sacrifice try, had sprinted the basepaths in the top of the inning and the bullpen apparently was in OK shape.) Unfortunately for the Padres, Latos walked consecutive hitters with one out and the Astros broke through en route to their 5-3 victory. As mentioned here five days ago, Latos isn't in optimal game shape after opening the season on the disabled list, but that needle is moving in the right direction. I'm not reading much into the three home runs he's allowed, but hitters have punished a variety of mistakes -- a curveball and a two-seam fastball against the Reds, and today, a flat 1-2 slider that Chris Johnson hit 378 feet for a two-run, tying homer in the fourth. All three homers have come after the third.

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