Mat Latos will always have a special place in my heart. Back in 2010, when I decided to start a sports blog, his dominant 2010 start for the Padres was my first ever post. Mat was a gamer and I love watching him pitch for the Padres.
Latos came up in 2009 at the end of the year, but his 2010 season was just special. He set a big league record when he recorded 15 consecutive starts with at least five or more innings and allowing two or fewer runs. If it weren’t for a piddly infield single against the Giants, Latos may have thrown the first no-hitter in Padres history.
Oct 11, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos (55) reacts to a strike out during the second inning against the San Francisco Giants in game five of the 2012 NLDS at Great American Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
The Padres won 90 games in 2010 and there was no doubt that Latos was the staff ace. He won 14 games, posted a 2.92 ERA and even received Cy Young Award votes. If you subtract a brutal outing Latos had in St. Louis in September of 2010, he may have won the ERA title.
Latos turned in another solid campaign in 2011, posting a solid ERA of 3.42. His record was poor, but he did not receive much run support. Latos was the Padres best homegrown pitcher outside of Jake Peavy that I have had the pleasure of watching.
Some fans were put off by Latos’ tattoos and his attitude. Personally, he is a guy I loved watching and did have the intimidating mound presence I look for in a potential ace.
He was traded to Cincinnati last offseason, in a deal that has benefited both teams. While I was sad to see Latos go, the Padres made a solid trade.
Mat Latos: young gun, potential ace and my #8 favorite Padre of all-time.