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Baltimore Sun

Simon stays in mix

Alfredo Simon has probably had the most bizarre year of any major league baseball player, at least this side of Leo Nunez.

On Friday, he gave us another reminder on why the Orioles didn't give up on him when his legal troubles began on New Year's Day (he was a prime suspect but never charged in the fatal shooting of his cousin).

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Simon has a live arm. He was hitting 95 mph on the radar gun in the eighth inning of Friday's 4-3, 11th-inning loss to the Detroit Tigers. He threw eight innings of three-run ball against a very good Detroit Tigers offense.

He deserved a win, but the Orioles couldn't get him his first since Aug. 23.

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"It's a little tough, but I understand sometimes I throw a good game and I don't get a lot of support with runs in the game," Simon said. "But I feel happy because I threw a really good game and that team is in the playoffs and they have a good lineup. That happens sometimes, not a lot of support, not a lot of runs tonight, but I still feel great."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter has been critical of Simon at times this year, partially because he is so inconsistent.

"I would just like to see him do it consistently. It is there," Showalter said. "He understands it speaks well for him tonight. I'd just like to see him do it more often."

Showalter needs to figure out whether he can count on Simon in the rotation next year or whether he should be returned to the bullpen, where he pitched in 2010. Regardless, despite a crazy 2011, Simon likely has pitched his way into some role for 2012.


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