National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, September 25th
(All times Eastern)
New York Mets (72-85) at Cincinnati Reds (90-68), 12:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-3, 5.52)
Cincinnati - Mat Latos (14-6, 3.23)
(Sports Network) - After their chances at an NL Central title took a hit on
Tuesday night, the Cincinnati Reds will move ace Mat Latos up to pitch the
finale of a three-game series with the New York Mets.
Latos gets the call for Wednesday's closer having last pitched on Friday
versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. He did not factor into a 6-5 win, giving up
four runs over six innings.
The righty fell to 0-1 with a 5.49 earned run average over his last three
outings, but is still a solid 14-6 with a 3.23 ERA on the season. Latos' 14
victories tie his career high set in 2010 with San Diego and matched last year
with the Reds over 33 starts.
In moving Latos up, manager Dusty Baker would be able to throw the 25-year-old
in a possible tiebreaker for the division title on Monday or keep him in line
to start the wild card playoff game the following day.
Latos is 2-1 with a 3.19 ERA in six career meetings with the Mets, who dealt
the Reds a damaging 4-2 defeat last night. With four contests left to play,
Cincinnati fell three games back of the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in
the NL Central and a game behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first wild
The Reds will host the Pirates for three games beginning on Friday to close
the regular season. They had won six of seven prior to Tuesday's loss, but
starter Mike Leake gave up all four Mets' runs and eight of their 10 hits
while recording just five outs.
"I wasn't making pitches and they were making me pay," said Leake, who matched
the shortest start of his career and had a 21 1/3-inning scoreless streak
halted in the second frame.
Daniel Murphy hit a three-run homer for the Mets and Jonathan Niese gave up
just a pair of runs over seven innings.
"When my shoulder is healthy, for the most part I think I can throw the ball
where I want to and minimize the mistakes," Niese said.
The Mets beat the Reds for the first time in five tries this season and go for
the series victory today behind Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is 2-3 with a 5.52 ERA
in six starts this season.
The 33-year-old righty had allowed 15 runs in losing his first three starts
with the Mets, but is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA over the last three outings. He won
his second start in a row on Friday, giving up four runs over six innings
versus Philadelphia. Only two of the runs were earned as Matsuzaka yielded
four hits and three walks while striking out six.
He faces the Reds for the first time in his career.
The Reds have won 10 of their last 13 versus the Mets, sweeping a three-game
set in New York from May 20-22.
09/25 10:27:10 ET