June 19, 2012

Daily Brief: Latos thinks Indians were stealing signs

Last Game
The Reds lost their first game in 7 tries last night to the Cleveland Indians. It was a slugfest, too, with the final score being 9-10. Each of the starting pitchers allowed 7 runs.

Scott Rolen was back from his lengthy stint on the DL, and he had his best game of the season last night. Not that that the bar was set too high this year, but he did go 2-for-4 with 2 RBI.

Next Game
The Reds continue the series and the Battle for Ohio with the Indians tonight at 7:05 at Progressive Field. Mike Leake (2-5, 5.05 ERA) goes against Josh Tomlin (3-4, 5.56 ERA). When the Reds faced Tomlin last week, they touched him for 6 runs, so the offensive fireworks may continue tonight.

It’s Not Like They Took a Yield Sign or Anything
After the game, Mat Latos implied that his woes on the mound were due, at least in part, to the Indians stealing his signs. “…they put better swings on the ball than they did most of the time without a runner on second base,” he said.

Three things I’d like to point out:

  • The runner on second was stealing signs? How’d that runner get on second?
  • During Latos’s 4.0 innings of work, the Indians went 3-for-8 (.375) when there was a runner on second base. They went 5-for-12 (.417) when there was no runner on second.
  • Unless they are doing the New England Patriots-style high-tech electronics thing, stealing signs isn’t illegal. Going to the media and saying “they were stealing signs” like it’s something fans should be outraged about is like going to the media and saying “they were hitting really well” and expecting people be take up their torches and pitchforks. In both cases, the other team isn’t doing anything wrong and it’s your job to figure out how to fix it.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
If the Indians win tonight and the White Sox lose, the final game of the Battle for Ohio will be between two first place teams. The last time that happened was July 1999.

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