While in spring training with the Miami Marlins this year, Mat Latos reflected on his three seasons with the Cincinnati Reds.
In an interview with a national website, he said their clubhouse turned into a "circus" after the departures of veterans Scott Rolen and Bronson Arroyo. Without naming names, he said the team's closer (whose name is Aroldis Chapman) slept through the first seven innings of games. He accused the team's medical staff of rushing him back from a knee operation.
The Reds were furious. Almost six months later, they made him pay.
Pitching Thursday night for the Dodgers, Latos was battered by his former team, which forced him out of the game after only 4 2/3 innings.
Latos was charged with five runs, four of which were earned. The Dodgers lost, 10-3, and their division lead over the second-place San Francisco Giants was reduced to 2½ games.
"I just need to get back to pitching like me instead of trying to fool everybody, trying to throw too many breaking balls," Latos said after a performance that may have been as humbling for him as it was disconcerting for the Dodgers, who acquired the veteran right-hander from the Marlins before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline to bolster the back end of their rotation.
Five days earlier in Pittsburgh, Latos allowed six runs and seven hits in only four innings. In three starts for the Dodgers, he has posted a 6.75 earned-run average. The team's other key trade-deadline acquisitions, starter Alex Wood and reliever Jim Johnson, also have struggled.
The Reds are probably delighted at Latos' travails. Their disdain for him became evident long ago.
Latos, who pitched for the Reds for three seasons, was traded to the Marlins last winter.
The comments he made this spring to FoxSports.com elicited a wide range of responses from the Reds.
Former Dodgers utilityman Skip Schumaker, who now plays for Cincinnati, defended the medical staff at the time. Of Latos' departure to the Marlins, Schumaker told the Cincinnati Enquirer, "I'll just say it's addition by subtraction and I'll leave it at that."
Reds pitcher Homer Bailey told the same newspaper, "If this was a court of law, the cross examination would go after the credibility of the witness."
Before Latos was traded to the Dodgers, the Marlins played the Reds in two separate series. Latos didn't pitch either time.
He pitched against the Reds on Thursday, just not very well or for very long, and afterward he said, "Turn the page. If you're talking about all that stuff in spring training, turn the page."
As for facing his old team, Latos said, "Who cares? It's done and it's over with."
Latos' troubles in this game started in the third inning, when Tucker Barnhart led off with a double and eventually scored on a single by Billy Hamilton.
Latos, trying to pick off Hamilton, made an errant throw, and the swift-footed Hamilton raced to third base. He scored on a single by Brandon Phillips to double the Reds' advantage to 2-0.
Latos served up another leadoff double in the fourth inning, this time to Todd Frazier, who then stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly Marlon Byrd.
Phillips and Eugenio Suarez doubled in runs in the fifth, and with two outs in that inning and the Dodgers trailing, 5-1, Latos was removed. The fans at Dodger Stadium cheered.
Wood (7-7, 3.72) will start his first home game for the Dodgers on Friday at 7 p.m. He is scheduled to face Reds left-hander John Lamb, who will make his major league debut. TV: SportsNet LA. Radio: 570, 1020.