Mat Latos extends unbeaten streak to 20 consecutive games

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Reds starter Mat Latos was last saddled with a loss on August 24 last season, when he allowed seven runs in five innings to the Cardinals. In the 20 starts since, Latos has won ten games and received ten no-decisions. Tonight marked the 20th consecutive game in which Latos started a game and did not lose.

Latos held the Cardinals to two runs on eight hits and no walks in seven innings, striking out five in the process. Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless eighth and Aroldis Chapman shut the door in the ninth for the save. He improved his ERA to 2.87 and is 6-0 in 13 starts on the season. He will look to extend his streak to 21 games on Thursday afternoon when the Reds will wrap up a four-game series in Chicago against the Cubs.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?