Friday night, the most important series in all of baseball started for the weekend which pitted the MLB leading Cincinnati Reds against their division rival, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mat Latos put his imprint in this game as he pitched a shutout against the Pirates until the 8th inning and even hit a 2-run homer. Latos, who was acquired by the Reds last winter in a trade, initially hadn’t been the pitcher they wanted him to be upon arrival; but in his past 8 starts, he’s been on a tear with a 2.13 ERA striking out 52 batters in 55 innings.
Reds all-star first baseman, Joey Votto has been out of the lineup since early July due to a torn meniscus that required him to have surgery and miss a month of action, could possibly make his return to play this weekend. Since loosing their star, the Reds have been on a tear winning 15 of their last 18 games keeping pace in the division standings against Pittsburgh. Also their second baseman, Brandon Phillips who was sidelined with a strained left calf, is penciled in to start Saturday’s game according to skipper Dusty Baker.
Last year, the Reds were nothing more than an afterthought in baseball as they failed to make the post-season finishing 4 games under .500. But this year, led by three legitimate 100 mph pitchers on average in Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, and Aroldis Chapman; the Reds are a serious threat to make a deep run in the post-season and could even possibly land a World Series bid.