Dave Trembley said he knew before the game that Alfredo Simon would be his closer tonight.
What he didn’t know was that Simon would need 29 pitches to get his first Major League save and that he would get key outs vs. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez along the way.
In the post-game interview Simon seemed as composed as he was on the mound, even after a Cesar Izturis two-out error gave the Yankees new life.
“I just feel great. I’m glad they gave me the opportunity to close the game. I just tried to throw strikes and just feel really happy.”
Simon threw 20 of his 29 pitches for strikes in recoding his first save since he had 19 for Norwich in the minors in 2005.
One week ago tonight he was starting a game vs. Gwinnett in Triple-A and tonight he was staring down the Yankees trying to avoid another late-inning Orioles collapse.
“I’m here to help, they have to decide if I am the closer. Whatever I can do to help the team. I’d like to do it, I’m a power pitcher and I have the stuff to be a closer,” the 28-year-old from the Dominican said.
He said he didn’t feel any nerves out there.
“Not really, I just tried to focus and throw strikes. I felt comfortable there and just tried to keep the ball down. I was not going to think too much.”
He got A-Rod for the final out on a groundball to second with runners at first and third. Matt Wieters and Miguel Tejada both made mound visits during New York’s rally to encourage Simon.
“They tell me ‘you got to get one more, you can do it.’ I just tried to get a groundball and get the out.
“I don’t think it’s Alex Rodriguez (up there). Just wanted to make a two-seam pitch down and inside.”
That he did and the pitcher the O’s found in the Mexican League in August of 2008 picked up his first Major League save getting Granderson, Jeter and A-Rod for outs in the ninth as the O’s picked up their fourth win of the season.
Nothing to it.