Monday, June 25, 2012

Latos goes the distance as Reds edge out Brewers

Do you remember when the Reds traded for Mat Latos during the offseason? And do you remember when people said that pitching in Great American Ball Park would be problematic for the tall right-hander? Well, those folks may have to change their theory after Latos won yet again at home on Monday night.

Cincy (40-32) edged out rival Milwaukee (33-40), 3-1, behind a dominanting, complete-game performance by Latos. It marked the sixth victory of 2012 for him (all at GABP) and marked the fifth straight time the Reds have won when Latos makes the start at home.

Here's a recap of the good, bad and notables from the affair:

The Good:
- Latos was purely dominant on this night. He held the Brewers to one run and four hits while fanning a career-high 13 batters. He also added a pair of singles. His lone mistake was serving up a solo homer to Norchika Aoki in the bottom of the sixth.
- Drew Stubbs starred in his first game back by notching a couple of hits, scoring a pair of runs, drawing a walk and stealing his 14th bag of the year. He showed no ill effects of having a strained oblique. His spark was just what this team needed.
- Ryan Hanigan, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce each pounded out a double for their only hits of the evening. Bruce's was a 2-run double that rose his season RBI total to 48.
- The Reds pick up a big win over a division foe to stay atop the NL Central standings for another day.
- Ryan Braun's hitting streak came to an end at 18 games after going hitless in four at-bats (3 Ks).

The Bad:
- It's hard to find anything bad in a win like this one, but Scott Rolen did record the inglorious Golden Sombrero by going 0-4 with four Ks. The one silver lining behind it was that he did manage to see a total of 25 pitches during his at-bats.
- Three runs may have been good enough to win in this game, but it won't win you many more beyond that.
- Coffee sales at GABP continue to plummet as the summer heat wears on. There's cause for concern that the dust accumulating on the coffee machines could cause them to malfunction in the later months.

The Notables:
- A nice-sized crowd of 34,485 made it to the ballpark on a weekday. That's very impressive.
- The club activated Stubbs (oblique) from the disabled list prior to the game and prompty outrighted Willie Harris to Triple-A Louisville.
- In honor of the NASCAR race that's set to take place at Kentucky Motor Speedway this Saturday, the Reds hosted "Racing Night" at GABP on Monday. Racing legend Richard Petty was in attendance, as well as a large collection of racecars, simulators and interactives were on display in the Fan Zone.
- The team officially announced the signing of first-round pick Nick Travieso Monday afternoon. Although not official until today, the 18-year old out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida announced the signing via Twitter on Friday.
- Up next: Game two of the intra-division clash takes place tomorrow beginning at 7:10et. Bronson Arroyo (3-5, 4.19) guns for his fourth win of the season opposite of the winless Marco Estrada (0-3, 4.50) of Milwaukee.

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