With two outs in the ninth inning the Reds had yet to cross the plate in their regular season home…
Latos Sharp in Post Season Tune-Up
The win also defeated former Red nemesis Chris Carpenter. The veteran did turn in a quality start in his third appearance of the season. He allowed three runs over six innings with seven strikeouts, but Latos out-pitched him. The Cards only run came on Matt Holiday's 102nd RBI of the season when he drove in John Jay in the first inning.
The Reds erased their early deficit on a solo home run by Scott Rolen in the fourth inning. Joey Votto led off the fifth with a walk and advanced to third on a Ryan Ludwick double. Jay Bruce plated the go-ahead run with a single before Dioner Navarro added on with another base hit. Rolen and Navarro had two hits each while Votto went 1-2 with two walks.
Sam LeCure, Sean Marshall, and Jonathan Broxton held the Cards scoreless for three innings before Aroldis Chapman notched his 38th save. The Cuban left-hander returned to familiar territory above the 100 mph mark on thirteen of his sixteen pitches. It was the hardest velocity he's thrown since missing ten days to shoulder fatigue.
On the final day of the regular season the Reds will still be alive for the best record in the league and the top seed that comes with it. The win also gave them their highest season total since 1976. They have an identical record with Washington now at 97-64, but the Nationals own the head-to-head tiebreaker and can clinch with a home win against Philadelphia. Meanwhile there was a playoff atmosphere in Busch Stadium as the Cardinals were trying to nail down the final wild card spot. They achieved that despite the loss by virtue of Dodger loss at home to the Giants.
Latos's fourteenth win matched his career high total. His ERA this season matched the number he put up in 2011. That is impressive considering that since last year his home venue changed from the most pitcher-friendly park in the league to one of the more friendly ones for batters. After a rocky start in April he went 12-2 with a 3.13 ERA in his final 27 appearances.
The difference between the numbers one and two seeds means either traveling to San Francisco to open the divisional series or awaiting the winner of the wild card series. Since this is the first season that a second wild card team has qualified for post season there is no history on how teams have fared coming from an extra play-in round against a higher seed awaiting them. The two clubs face off again in their regular season finales Wednesday. Homer Bailey is expected to take the mound for the first time after his no-hitter while the Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has yet to announce his starter after last night's clinch.
MadFriars.com Recommended Stories
Odell Beckham makes catch of the year
Former LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham made what has to be the most incredible catch of the NFL season. Check out the highlight reel grab!Read More
Big Endorsement for Jameis Winston
There might still be five games left in the season, but much like last year for the Bucs, they're staring a high draft choice in the face yet again. After the unsettling play of both quarterbacks for…Read More
Defense Secretary Hagel Stepping Down
Breaking: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down amidst growing concerns over U.S. handling of global unrest.Read More
5 NHL Teams with Tailgating Crazy Fans
When it comes to tailgating, football might be the first sport that comes to mind, but don’t underestimate hockey. The NHL has some of the most passionate fans in all of sports, and they don’t let up…Read More
Apache Administers Death to Taliban (VIDEO)
The Apache helicopter is one of the most famed and efficient killing machines in the U.S Army. Get the skinny on this 'steel dragon' and watch what one does to a platoon of Taliban fighters in…Read More