Reds right-hander Mat Latos finally made his 2014 season debut on Saturday evening. And it was good.
Latos, who missed all of April and May due to calf, knee, and elbow issues, struck out four batters and surrendered only two hits over six scoreless innings in a no-decision against the Brewers at Milwaukee’s Miller Park. He left the game at 87 pitches with the Reds leading 1-0. Unfortunately the Cincinnati bullpen couldn’t keep the visiting team on top.
MLB.com has highlights from the 4-2 Brewers win.
Latos, among the most underrated front-line pitchers in baseball, owns a 3.27 ERA (121 ERA+) in 426 innings since joining the Reds before the start of the 2012 season. He’ll get the Blue Jays next.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.