The Padres' 22-year old ace Mat Latos has thrown 45 more innings in 2010 than he did a year ago, but following his second consecutive bad outing, Latos dismissed fatigue as the reason he was rocked by the Cardinals.
"Fatigue is not a factor," Latos told the San Diego Union-Tribune 's Bill Center. "My body feels good. My arm is fine."
He wasn't -- as Latos lasted just four outs, allowing nine hits and eight runs, walking two and striking out one. The 15 batters he faced went 9 for 13 against him and he threw 51 pitches before being lifted.
While Latos said he felt fine and manager Bud Black said he didn't think velocity was an issue, catcher Yorvit Torrealba said Latos didn't have his usual zip.
"Obviously, he wasn't the Mat we know," Torrealba said. "I saw a couple 89 and 90 fastballs. His velocity wasn't there. And he was up, not executing his pitched. And I noticed, too, that they were attacking early in the count. That is something we should consider, although if Mat is making his pitches like he has been, that 95 fastball down and away, we have a lot of one-pitch outs."
The Padres had said during spring training that they wanted to limit Latos to 150-170 innings. With Friday's outing, Latos has now thrown 168 innings and he's scheduled to make his next start, Thursday night in Los Angeles.
If he doesn't improve upon his last two outings (five runs on seven hits in four innings last Sunday against the Giants), the Padres may not have to worry about monitoring Latos' innings in October, because there won't be any.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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