Latos wants to learn from late-season struggles
The final month of the 2010 season taught San Diego Padres
starting pitcher Mat Latos a difficult lesson.
Prior to his final five starts of the season, Latos was on a
major league record-setting run in which he limited opponents to
two earned runs or less in five or more innings in 15 straight
But Latos ended his first full season in the big leagues by
going 0-5 with an 8.18 ERA, including a loss on the final day of
the regular season to the San Francisco Giants that kept the Padres
out of the postseason.
Latos was 14-10 with a 2.92 ERA in 31 starts and finished tied
for eighth in National League Cy Young Award voting.
”That last month brings you right back down to earth,” Latos
said. ”Does it suck? Yeah it does, because any little bit might
have pushed us into the playoffs. It was poorly timed, but I’ll
take it and I’ll learn from it.”
Prior to that stretch, opponents were hitting .191 against
Latos, who started the season 14-9.
Latos said he didn’t feel tired but thinks his numbers show
otherwise. He believes that led to location mistakes that opponents
didn’t miss. Padres manager Bud Black wasn’t surprised considering
that it was the first time Latos pitched deep into September and
Latos finished the season with a career-high 184 innings
”When you’re young and not used to it, it takes a toll mentally
and physically,” Black said.
Latos isn’t willing to let a poor ending to his season ruin his
future. His confidence is high and he plans on using last season’s
lessons to his benefit.
”It doesn’t take away from the whole season,” Latos said. ”I
think it makes the season that much better because it’s a prime
example (to learn from). I was doing my best and succeeding for
such a long period of time and then it turned around and went the
opposite way. That’s how seasons are going to be.
”It’s going to be a grind no matter what.”