“I said before the game, in order to have a chance at (David) Price, you’ve got to match a similar outing because you know runs are going to be at a premium. I thought that’s what Alfredo did,” Showalter said. “Still, you’re looking for that consistency out of him. You see an outing like that, then you see some with the command not being there. He got a lot of outs, a lot of strikeouts, not off the fastball. Two-seam, a lot of movement that Rick (Adair) has been trying to get him to trust more.”
Wieters’ blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth after Adam Jones pinch-ran for Vladimir Guerrero and seemed to distract Rays reliever J.P. Howell, who kept throwing over to first base before feeding Wieters a high changeup.
“Of course, Matty had a big hit for us,” Showalter said. “I thought Jonesy, putting a little pressure on him, worrying about him at first base, might have had something to do with it too.”
Asked if Simon realizes the importance of these last three starts - assuming he makes all of them - Showalter said, “I tell you, I think he’s kind of figured that out a little bit. I think he understands the situation. We’re looking for consistency, people we can trust to do something when we put them in a situation that they’re equipped to handle. He went through this last year in August and September.”
Going back to Wieters, Showalter pointed out that the catcher has a chance to hit 20 home runs. He’s one short after tonight. They seem to come in bunches.
“It seems like every one of them has been a big home run,” Showalter said. “You think about it, I don’t care if you’re 25 or 45, if you’re catching - he’s going to catch over 140 games - that’s remarkable. He’s just been a rock. I’m really proud of him. He’s gotten better every year he’s been here. It’s pretty easy to look prophetic when you’re talking about someone with the upbringing of Matt Wieters.”
The Orioles managed to cool off the Rays, at least for one night, as Tampa Bay tries to catch the Red Sox in the wild card race.
“We’re very respectful of what the Rays have done to get to the point where these games matter,” Showalter said. “We’re more concerned with doing some things that allow us to be able to do that in the future, as opposed to trying to... I’m sure we’ll have some opportunities to do that in the next couple weeks. But I don’t think that (we want) to make somebody feel our pain, so to speak.”