Mat Latos has been fantastic this year. I want to say that at the outset. If he doesn’t pitch like he’s pitched most of the season the Padres are not in this thing right now. He’s taken the ace role and, even if he may be petering out a bit under the workload as the season ends, he deserves some credit for his moxy.
But he also deserves a figurative kick in the pants right now. Partially for what looked like some pouting in last night’s game against the Cubs — he was clearly miffed by the umpire’s strike zone and the Padres’ defensive lapses, both his teammates’ and his own — but also for these comments he made to Scott Miller of CBS Sports.com, talking about the hole in which the Padres currently find themselves:
“Baseball works in funny ways,” said Latos, now 0-4 with a 10.13 ERA
over his past four starts. “The only way I could honestly put it is, we
could be like the Giants and go and change our whole lineup, put guys
with ‘San Francisco Giants’ across their jerseys. We didn’t.
“We added two guys [Miguel Tejada and Ryan Ludwick,
now hitting .221 with five homers in 54 games with the Padres]. We’ve
been the same team all year. We haven’t just gone and grabbed guys from
Welcome to baseball, Mat. Teams make trades for players, be they your team’s two guys or the six or seven players the Giants have brought in over the course of the year. It makes you no more morally or ethically superior to the Giants. It in no way constitutes an excuse for poor performance by the players who remain. It does, however, make you look really, really immature to be complaining about such things.
Latos has one start left this season. It will come against those Giants, be they authentic, in his estimation, or fraudulent. They’ll all be trying to hit the cover off the ball when Latos pitches it to them. He had best concentrate more on that and less on commenting on which team is doing a better job of keeping it real.