August 12, 2013 – Reds @ Cubs – 8:05pm – Fox Sports Cincinnati
Reds Record (65 – 52)
Away Record (28 – 32)
Cubs Record (52 – 65)
Home Record (23 – 33)
Starters: Latos (11 –3) vs. Wood (7 – 8)
News: Ryan Ludwick returns to the Reds lineup tonight after tearing up his shoulder during the first game of the season. He will bat sixth and start in left field.
The Setting: I am watching at home and enjoying a relaxing evening on the couch.
The Game and Analysis:
•This game was a matchup of two pitchers that were on the top of their games as former Red Travis Wood faced Mat Latos in a low-scoring affair. Wood held the Reds to four hits, but lost 2 – 0 as Latos blanked the Cubs. As usual, details of the game are below.
•Latos and Wood were dominant from the outset. The Reds had four base runners in the first four innings, and three of them were eliminated. The Cubs turned two double plays and David DeJesus threw out Devin Mesoraco as he tried to stretch a single into a double. Latos allowed only one base runner when he hit Wellington Castillo with a pitch leading off the second.
•Latos would give up back-to-back singles in the fifth to put runners on the corners with two outs, but he got Wood to fly out to end the inning. Through five innings, Latos had thrown 53 pitches and had cruised through a five-pitch inning in the fourth.
•The Cubs had a runner on first in the sixth as Junior Lake had singled. Anthony Rizzo followed with a sinking liner to center field for a single, and Lake tried to go from first to third. Shin-Soo Choo double-pumped, but came up firing an absolute bullet to nail Lake at third. Third baseman Todd Frazier never had to move his glove as the ball one-hopped right to him. I have always enjoyed watching throws from the outfield, and the seed by Choo did not disappoint.
•Brandon Phillips picked up the only runs for the Reds on a two-run homer to left off Wood in the seventh inning. Frazier had walked to lead off the inning and Phillips connected on a slider that caught too much of the plate with one out. That broke the scoreless tie that both pitchers had going, and was one of only four hits for the Reds.
•Wood has pitched well all year, and has thrown some gems against the Reds. It seems like he has the least amount of run support in the league, and his record reflects that. He is now 7 – 9 with a 3.00 ERA. Compare that to Latos, who is now 12 – 3 with 3.04 ERA. Wood was a tremendous pickup for the Cubs as part of the Sean Marshall trade.
•Latos ended up with a final line of 8.0 innings, 6 hits, 0 walks, and 9 strikeouts on 94 pitches.
•Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth inning for his 28th save of the year.
•Ryan Ludwick’s return to the game was uneventful. He went 0 – 3 and grounded into a double play. It was good to see Ludwick back on the team and at the very least he provides some right-handed pop for the club. He should ease back into a full schedule as the weeks go on.
What Worked: The pitching by Latos was phenomenal, and sorely needed.
What Didn’t Work: The Reds still seem to be dead on offense, and they only managed the four hits.
Where They Stand: The Reds are 66 – 52 and trail the Pirates by 4.5 games and the Cardinals by 1.5 games in the NL Central.
Overall Thoughts: With both the Pirates and the Cardinals off, the Reds took advantage and made up a half-game on each with the win. Latos dominated and bested an equally dominant Wood, providing the Reds with what they needed when the bats could not. Phillips did what he has done all year, and that is come up with timely RBIs. Great win by the Redlegs!
Up Next: Game two is tomorrow night.