Cincinnati Reds starter Mat Latos has been named the National League Player of the Week for the period ending July 1st. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Latos was a perfect 2-0 in two complete games last week, leading the Majors with 18.0 innings pitched and ranking second in MLB and first in the National League with 20 strikeouts. The 24-year-old became the first Reds pitcher to record back-to-back complete games since 2006, when Aaron Harang notched victories on September 24th (at CHI) and September 29th (at PIT). Latos allowed just a single earned run in each of his starts, good for a 1.00 ERA (2 ER/18.0 IP) for the week, which reduced his season ERA from 5.20 (through June 18th) to 4.42. He earned his seventh victory (7-2) of the season on Sunday afternoon, two-hitting the N.L. West-leading Giants in his complete-game, 2-1 win at AT&T Park. The righty fanned seven in his 9.0 innings of work and did not allow a walk en route to his second victory over San Francisco this season (also April 24th). Latos notched a career-high 13 strikeouts in his outing one week ago, June 25th, walking only two and scattering four hits in a 3-1 victory over Milwaukee at Great American Ball Park. He threw 80 of his 109 pitches for strikes, and during a span from the first through fifth innings, threw 26 consecutive strikes, marking the longest streak by a Reds hurler since records have been kept, going back to 1988. The Broward (FL) Community College product also matched a career high with two hits. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Latos only the third Reds pitcher since 1900 to collect at least two hits as a batter while recording 13-or-more strikeouts (Jim Maloney twice, 1963 vs. CHI and 1966 vs. NYM; and Ron Villone, 2000 vs. STL). This is Mat's first career weekly award.
Other noteworthy performances last week included San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner (1-0, 0.00 ERA, CG, SHO, 8 SO, 9.0 IP) and Barry Zito (1-1, 0.69 ERA, 13.0 IP); Chicago's Travis Wood (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 10 SO, 14.2 IP); San Diego's Alexi Amarista (.412, 7 H, 3HR, 8 RBI, 1.000 SLG, .412 OBP); Washington All-Star Ian Desmond (.414, 12 H, 7 R, 7 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, .931 SLG, .452 OBP) and teammates Michael Morse (.484, 15 H, 9 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI) and Ryan Zimmerman (.364, 12 H, 7 R, 3 HR, 12 RBI, .400 OBP); Pittsburgh All-Star Andrew McCutchen (.407, 11 H, 8 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI, .429 OBP); Daniel Murphy (.409, 5 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI, .955 SLG) of the New York Mets; and Philadelphia's Hunter Pence (.414, 12 H, 3 HR, 7 RBI, .828 SLG) and All-Star Carlos Ruiz (.423, 11 H, 8 R, 2 HR, .444 OBP).
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Mat Latos will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.