Mt Latos came to the Reds with the reputation of being immature and having a self-important attitude.
The dude turns 26 in December. Latos has come a long way from the talented pitcher that exasperated the San Diego Padres so much so that they decided to dump the kid with the million dollar arm and the 10 cent head.
Ryan Ludwick has seen his progress firsthand, the before in San Diego and the after now in Cincinnati.
"I've said it before and I will say it again. He is going to win the Cy Young someday. It's just a matter of time," Ludwick said after Latos pitched a complete game against the best-hitting team in the National League. "He is maturing on and off the field. He's getting better and better. I'm really proud of him. He's really thriving in big game situations."
While waiting for tha media to gather after the Reds' 7-2 win over the Cardinals, Bronson Arroyo offered to sit in for Latos, who would rather skip the media and head home. "I will be your ego," Arroyo offered, playfully. "You're not big enough, hoss," Latos shot back.
Latos retired 21 of the last 22 Cardinal hitters. He gave up just four hits and walked one.
As an example of his evolving maturity, the walk came on a very, very questionable call by firstbase umpire Cory Blaser on a checked swing on a 2-2 pitch to David Freese.
"Latos has developed an attitude," Dusty Baker said. "He's not the same Latos that we got from San Diego. He's going deep in the games. It has helped him to be around Bronson and guys that have been here. They get on him sometimes and he takes it most of the time cheerfully."
Latos gave credit to his teammates.
"The offense gave me six runs early," Latos said. "When you get run support like that, it takes a lot of pressure off early in the game and I don't feel like I have to be too perfect. I wanted the complete game. I wanted to give the bullpen a break."
The difference between Latos of now and the Latos in San Diego is how he has been treated.
"I wanted to show that I can be that ace," Latos said. "Dusty lets me be myself has been a turning point. I'm not a cookie cutter. That's just the way it is. Just him having the confidence in me that let's me show him that I can go deep in the ballgame and trust me when I tell him how I'm feeling."
There was discussion about taking Latos out of the game after the eighth.
"I told him I was great," Latos said. "Dusty told me 'If not Chapman hasn't pitched for awhile, we'll let him go.' I told him I was great and he said, 'OK let's go.'"
|Professionally edited by ML Schirmer|
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