Since Alfredo Simon has taken Mat Latos' place in the starting rotation this season, he has failed to disappoint. Today was no different as he threw eight strong innings allowing a single earned run on seven hits while striking out five in a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday at Great American Ballpark.
The win, which helped the Reds split the four game series with the Dodgers, all but solidified Simon's spot in the starting rotation once Latos returns. This would most likely force Tony Cingrani to move to the bullpen.
"You certainly couldn't have expected it, not just the 9-3, because sometimes you're the benefactor of a lot of runs being scored every fifth day for you," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "In his case, this is a sub-3.00 ERA, a low walk ratio, a low hit ratio, a low batting average against — all that statistical stuff we all love. He's doing it. And he's pitching us deep into games. That's the thing that's surprising me more than anything."
"In the first inning, he came out and was a little off," Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco said. "I think he was a little amped up, because he knew that we needed a big start out of him, and last time these guys got to him a little bit."
"That helped me a lot," Simon said. "When he hit that home run, I just felt more comfortable. I kept pounding the zone and everything was good."
"It could have been a very disappointing homestand," Price said. "At one point, we were 3-5 and got stung a little bit by L.A. with two unimpressive losses, and rallied back and had two really impressive wins. It's more the type of play our club is capable of playing. We did some really good things."
Cincinnati will head to Milwaukee where they will begin a three-game series on Friday with the NL Central leading Brewers.