When Johnny Cueto walked off the mound after eight pitches, it was easy to suggest that the momentum had swung the Giants' way and that the Division Series had taken a huge turn for the worst for the Reds. Not so fast. What the injury did is move Giants-killer Mat Latos, previously the Game 3 starter, into prime position to pitch twice in the series. That's bad news for the Giants, who have hit Latos as though he's a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Dusty Baker, forced into some backward managing, summoned a reliever (Sam LeCure) to replace Cueto - he pitched 1 2/3 innings - and a starter (Latos) to pitch the third through the sixth innings, and that was the winning formula for Cincinnati in Game 1 on Saturday night. "I know what to expect in this ballpark. I know what to expect from the lineup," Latos said. "I've got great success against them." Despite the loss of Cueto, the Reds are set up nicely. In Baker's initial playoff rotation, Latos, who threw 57 pitches, would have pitched only on Tuesday in Cincinnati, but now he can face the Giants twice. His next start would be Game 5 or, on short rest, Game 4 - if the series gets that far. Pitching coach Bryan Price hinted that Homer Bailey, who's a week removed from throwing a no-hitter, could be a natural for Game 3.
Giants-killer Latos lifts Reds
San Francisco Chronicle | Oct 7