The Mat Latos that the Reds and their fans have been waiting for after trading 4 players for him before the season has finally arrived. Latos struck out 11 batters in 6 innings of work while only allowing 2 hits as the Reds shut out the Pirates 5-0. The only trouble that Latos got into was in the first inning when he got out of a bases loaded jam after fights some wildness. After that he cruised to his second victory in as many starts which is a welcome sign for the Reds as it seems as if all the starters are starting to find their groove. On the offensive side the Reds continue to be hot using the long ball as their primary weapon. They got a solo shot in the second from Todd Frazier and a two run shot in the third by Drew Stubbs. Drew Stubbs has been on a nice run this week hitting .313 (5-16) with 4 runs, 2 HR, and 3 RBI while raising his batting average to .262. Getting production from Drew Stubbs could be huge for the Reds because he can disrupt a game with his speed. Getting him on in front of guys like Joey Votto and Jay Bruce could result in big numbers being put on the board due to him distracting pitchers. Even today in the first inning we saw Stubbs force a throw to first that was wild allowing him to advance all the way to third and then score on the Votto single. Stubbs stresses defenses causing mistakes in fielding and in pitch selection and that is why he is one of the key players for the Reds this season if they want to make the playoffs. Overall it was another solid win that pushed the team back over .500 and gave them a two games to one series victory over the Pirates. Next up is the Brewers in Milwaukee tomorrow at 8:10 p.m.
Check Back tomorrow for my reaction to the game and the next installment of the Reds’ Avengers!