For a second consecutive outing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mat Latos failed to make it through five innings. His start Thursday was marginally better than the Aug. 8 trip to the mound as he threw 4.2 innings compared to four innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“Obviously, this wasn’t what we wanted and not what he wants either,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of his right-hander’s performance. “First couple of innings were OK. Then it unraveled a little bit.” Latos worked around an Alberto Callaspo error in the first inning that put the leadoff man aboard and struck out the last two batters faced in the second inning.
A Tucker Barnhart leadoff double in the third spelled trouble for Latos as the Cincinnati Reds went on to take a 2-0 lead behind a pair of RBI singles in the inning. “I’m healthy. I feel healthy,” a visibly frustrated Latos said.
“The ball is coming out of my hand good. It’s just a matter of stringing together pitches and string together innings. It’s what I’m having a tough time doing right now.” The matchup was his first time facing the Reds since the club traded him to the Miami Marlins in December of last year.
Latos accused the Reds medical staff of rushing him back from injury, which unsurprisingly didn’t sit well some in the Cincinnati organization, including Skip Schumaker. “Who cares? Turn the page,” Latos said. “It’s done and it’s over with. I’ve got to worry about what I’ve got to worry about here.”
That worry includes getting away from being too dependent on offspeed pitches. “I just need to get back to pitching like me instead of trying to fool everybody and throw too many breaking pitches,” Latos said.
“I need to go back and look at a couple years back when I was throwing more fastballs and locating better.” This season he’s thrown a fastball 63 percent of the time, followed by a slider at 16 percent, curveball eight percent and changeup four percent.
There’s also been an adjustment to learning on the fly with new batterymates Latos said, likening the transition to Spring Training. When the Dodgers traded for Latos, he arrived with 4-7 record, 4.48 ERA, 3.35 FIP and 1.25 WHIP in 16 starts.
He had better results after being reinstated from the disabled list, going 3-3 over his last seven starts (45.2 innings) before the trade with a 2.96 ERA and 43 to nine strikeout to walk ratio.
However, since being traded to Los Angeles, Latos is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA, 4.40 FIP and 1.43 WHIP over three starts. He’s struck out eight batters and walked three, along with giving up two home runs.