As a Padre, Mat Latos infuriated Giants fans with his attitude, his aptitude, and his frustrating lack of a second “T” in his name. Coming into today’s game, Latos had a career ERA of 3.61. His ERA against the Giants? 2.35, including a 1-hitter in 2010.
What makes him so effective against the Giants? It’s not like this is the same lineup as 2010, when Latos by himself nearly prevented the Giants from winning the NL West. The Three Amigos didn’t exist yet. Buster Posey hadn’t played a full season. Pablo Sandoval was playing like Pedro Feliz. So despite the improvement in the lineup, Mat Latos can still come out and put the Giants to sleep with wicked movement and corner pitches. It’s like when Taco Bell introduces a new item. Fresh new ingredients, same diarrhea.
Speaking of corner pitches, I am not part of the contingent that is making excuses for Barry Zito’s walks. Zito’s breaking pitches were Vintage Barry, but he tried to get cute deep in counts on both sides of the plate and the Reds weren’t biting. Zito walked six. Six. In two innings. “But one of them was intentional,” says some person I made up who in no way resembles Bip Roberts. Sure, Bochy is the one who called for the intentional pass to Brandon Phillips. But the guys on second and third didn’t get there because Bruce Bochy wrote them there. Zito walked them. So I’m taking the “I” out of the “IBB” and taking away his quality start.
Buuuuuuut, every Barry Zito start that ends with 6 IP and 1 ER chips away at the sunk cost that is the remainder of his contract. Fine, Peter Magowan can eat today. I’ll allow it.
Brandon Watch 2012:
This was the most Brandon-y game ever. No one not named Brandon influenced any part of the outcome. The Giants got two hits. A protect-the-count double down the line by Crawford and a pinch-hit triple by Belt in the 9th. The latter leads to the lone run and makes me hate Scott Cousins for the kid gloves the Giants are forced to use with Buster Posey. Belt should start every day, but the Cousins Corollary makes that impossible. Ugh.
Stats of the Day:
9: The inning the Giants have scraped together their only runs in the last two games
3: Where Pablo Sandoval should be hitting in the lineup (Melky 2, Theriot 7)
1.85: Latos’ ERA at AT&T Park
1: Giants players who look like me in a uniform. Thanks Brad Penny.