There wasn’t much to feel good about tonight, but Alfredo Simon turned in his second quality start after carrying a shutout into the seventh inning. He was charged with two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings and tied his career high with 96 pitches.
“He gave us a real good chance to win,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I was pleased with his performance again. Had him maybe a tick above where we had hoped to take him with pitches and everything. We should be in position to turn him loose now. He gave us a real good chance to win. I was proud of him.
“He’s been good. He’s kind of worked on a couple things, holding runners. He got out of a situation he created with the double play ball, but he’s got a chance to put people away. He’s got an out pitch, if he can keep some counts in his favor. He was the reason we were in that game.”
The Angels broke it open in the ninth with Vernon Wells’ grand slam off Kevin Gregg.
“I thought Kevin threw a lot of good pitches, too,” Showalter said. “Just couldn’t get ... I don’t even know if they were borderline, but it happens sometimes.”
Showalter obviously didn’t agree with plate umpire Angel Hernandez’s strike zone. He watched video of the Wells’ at-bat before meeting with reporters.
“I thought he had pretty good stuff and his command was pretty good,” Showalter said. “The one he’d probably like to take back is a cutter up in the zone. There were a lot of pitches that I might not ... I’m biased. I’m going to look at our side of everything. There was a lot more to that game than that.”
In a season that’s taken many odd twists and turns, Alfredo Simon is emerging as a staff ace.
“I feel like I just threw really well,” he said. “I know they scored two runs and I let them in. I just tried to keep the game close, but we didn’t hit too good tonight. But that’s part of the game.
“I just tried to focus every inning that I go out, try to get a zero. But the last inning that I threw, I got (in trouble) with (Maicer) Izturis with a man on second. It was 3-1 and I don’t want to walk the guy, so I just throw a fastball to him and he just got a hit, and that’s part of the game. I just threw a good game, but we didn’t hit too good tonight. But that’s part of the game and I understand that.
“I feel like all my pitches were strikes, but I don’t really know those guys. But I just tried to throw the ball down and just get a zero every inning that I go out. But I just feel real comfortable with my pitches and everything worked fine.”
Simon is scheduled to start again on Wednesday in Toronto.
“I just feel really strong,” he said. “When I go out, I just try to do the best I can to win the game. But sometimes you’re going to have a lost game and sometimes you’re going to win the game.”
He lost tonight. Better luck next time.