Dominican Hurler Alfredo Simon Bests Mets after long hiatus from mound

Howard Goldin

Flushing, NY---Outstanding pitching and timely hitting by Cincinnati starter Alfredo Simon stopped the Mets from achieving a win on Sunday afternoon, thus preventing them from a series sweep.

The native of the Dominican Republic had not started a regular season game in the majors since September 28, 2011, when with Baltimore. Since that start, he has relieved in 99 games for the Reds. During those two seasons as a reliever, Simon has compiled a 9-6 mark with an ERA of 2.78.

Simon has traveled a lengthy and circuitous route since signing with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1999 under the name of Carlos Cabrera. He has also spent time in the organizations of the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Baltimore Orioles before being claimed by the Reds off waivers from the Orioles in 2012. He has also spent time pitching in the Mexican League.

The 32 year-old is currently serving as the fifth starter for Cincinnati in place of the injured Matt Latos. The 2+ years of relief work did not hamper the 6-6 hurler from pitching superbly in his rare opportunity of late to start.

The sole run he allowed scored in the second inning. The previous day’s Met hero, Ike Davis, doubled to left in his first trip to the plate on Sunday. The next batter, Juan Lagares, singled to left to drive Davis across the plate. Other than that brief rally, Simon only surrendered two singles.

The 32 year-old pitched very economically throwing only 79 pitches in seven innings. His catcher Brayan Peña was fulsome in his praise for his batterymate, “He {Simon] deserves all the credit. He kept us in the ballgame and gave us a chance to win it. His job today was tremendous.”

Simon was quite pleased with how the day transpired, “I had a positive mindset. I prefer starting. I was pretty happy. It felt great. I just tried to show the best I can. I just tried to keep the game close. Everything worked out.”

Simon, who only threw 79 pitches, felt he could have continued in the game “but a lefty came up.” Manny Parra entered for a rare save situation. He pitched two excellent frames to earn his first major league save.

Cincinnati’s first year skipper, Bryan Price, previously the team’s pitching coach, was very pleased with Simon’s performance, “If I weren’t starting him, he might have been in some games to get saves. He’s unbelievably valuable to our pitching staff.”

In addition to his superior hurling, Simon figured prominently at bat. He led off the sixth with a single to center. Chris Heisy and Brandon Phillips followed with singles. Simon scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly to left by Joey Votto. The winning run was driven in on a single by Ryan Ludwick in the same inning.

The first homestand of the Mets ended with their record at 2-4. They now travel to Atlanta for three games. The Reds, whose mark is also 2-4, travel to St. Louis for three games against the Cards.

Howardg53@yahoo.com