Sunday, September 23, 2012
Latos and Scutaro help Reds, Giants clinch
By ESPN Stats & Information
The Cincinnati Reds shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers, and with the win, clinched the NL Central division title.
It’s their second division title in the last three seasons and 10th in the Divisional era (since 1969).
Saturday was the Reds 92nd win of the season, their most since 1999 when they went 96-67.
A major reason for Saturday’s victory was Mat Latos who threw eight-plus scoreless innings for the first time this season.
Latos threw 53 of his 67 fastballs (79 percent) for strikes, his highest percentage in his career. He pounded the zone with his fastball by throwing 47 of his 67 fastballs (70 percent) in the strike zone.
Latos’ dominance on Saturday continues a recent trend as he is 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA in his last five games. The Reds have won all five.
Also clinching a postseason berth is the San Francisco Giants who win their second NL West title in three years. Similar to their 2010 World Series champion team, this year’s team has done well in close games – winning a league best 29 one-run games.
The Giants overcame adversity, going 25-10 since Melky Cabrera was suspended on August 15. They entered that day tied with the Dodgers atop the NL West – the gap in the NL West is now 11 games.
Although the Giants trade for Hunter Pence generated more buzz initially, the trade for second baseman Marco Scutaro has had the biggest impact.
After hitting .271 in 95 games with the Colorado Rockies, Scutaro has hit .361 with the Giants. Scutaro went 3-5 Saturday and has had at least two hits in 13 of his last 18 games.
Scutaro has gone 37-86 (.430) against pitches over the horizontal middle third of the plate (the 4-5-6 on your telephone) since being acquired by San Francisco.
Brandon Mendoza, Lee Singer and Kenton Wong contributed to this post