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Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Padres' Latos great, but Cy-worthy?

Tim Sullivan on the record-setting phenomenon named Mat Latos:
Less prosaically, but also in Latos' favor: He has not suffered at all when pitching away from his pitcher-friendly home. Latos' road stats are practically non-distinguishable from his home stats and 16 of his 26 starts have come on the road. His statistics this season are not a creation of Petco Park.

But you can't just wish away the innings. After going seven innings last night, Latos ranks 32nd in the National League with 163 innings pitched. Roy Halladay, with an ERA (2.36) just slightly higher, has thrown 221 innings.

Adam Wainwright -- who's 17-10, like Halladay -- also has an ERA (2.41) just slightly higher than Latos', and he's thrown 200 innings. Josh Johnson (2.30) and Tim Hudson (2.41) have ERAs just slightly higher, and they've thrown more innings, too.

When someone argues that a player should be "part of the conversation" for an award, I'm never sure exactly what that means. Might Latos, if he continues to pitch brilliantly, deserve to sneak on to a few Cy Young ballots, in the third-place slot?

Maybe. But he simply isn't going to pitch enough to innings to be considered a serious candidate to win the award. Innings matter, a lot.