Can Nothing Stop Latos?

By Jim Laslavic
|  Monday, May 24, 2010  |  Updated 6:46 AM PDT
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San Diego Padres 2010

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Mat Latos was as impressive as expected yesterday, but with a restrictive pitch and inning count in place for the 21-year-old, should he really be in an MLB starting rotation?

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The Padres get a day off to enjoy a job well down in the Emerald City, beating the Mariners 8-1.

Mat Latos earned the win despite having a migraine that started about a half hour before first pitch.

"I usually don't have (migraines)," Latos said. "This is the first time I've had one in a while -- as long as I can remember."

He said he took a pain reliever before the game, but it was something that never went away while he was on the mound. The sun came out midway through the game and the extra light made the headache symptoms on even stronger.

Latos didn't let the headache affect his command on the mound as he kept the Mariners off-balance with an array of fastballs, changeups and sliders.

"I wasn't going to let that be an excuse for maybe me pitching poorly or anything," Latos said. "I just went out there and stayed in the game plan as we always have. Just trying to get strike one and work the count and get groundball outs and try to put up zeros on the board."

Over the past month Latos has been nearly un-hittable. He allowed only one run on four hits over six innings, raising his record to 4-3 on the season.

“The guy‘s electric,” baseball analyst Bob Scanlan said of Latos.

“He’s 22 years old, he’s learning how to pitch,” said Scanlan. “The best part is we’re seeing the growth. That’s the question. It’s not a question whether he’s going to stumble at times, the question is, how has he responded and so far he’s responded excellently.”

"I don't think he had his overall best stuff but I saw a smooth delivery," Padres manager Bud Black said of Latos’s performance against the Mariners. "I saw a nice finish to his pitches. Good changeup today. Some good sliders, elevated some fastballs in certain counts but overall a well pitched game."

"I told him after the game, it was a good lesson learned that every time you take a big league mound you might not feel 100 percent. I'm proud of him," Black said.

“This is the kid of our future. This is the ace,” said Scanlan. “He could be the cornerstone of the future.”
 

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