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Garrett: Being a closer 'fits my mentality'

@m_sheldon
September 16, 2020

CINCINNATI -- Nothing was going to take the joy away from Reds reliever Amir Garrett and his first career save in a 4-1 win over the Pirates on Tuesday night. Not a near home run and not back-to-back one-out walks. “First of all, I don’t care about the walks. I

CINCINNATI -- Nothing was going to take the joy away from Reds reliever Amir Garrett and his first career save in a 4-1 win over the Pirates on Tuesday night. Not a near home run and not back-to-back one-out walks.

“First of all, I don’t care about the walks. I got my first save, haha!” Garrett said.

Garrett was holding the ball from the final out.

“I’m going to keep it in my game room. This means a lot to me,” said Garrett, a big leaguer for the Reds since 2017. “I think this means more to me than any other accolade in my career so far. This is awesome.”

Garrett, 28, enters Wednesday 1-0 with a 2.81 ERA in 17 appearances this season. He has retired the first batter in 16 of those games.

The first 167 games of Garrett’s career did not include recording a save. He was needed in the ninth inning vs. Pittsburgh because Raisel Iglesias and Archie Bradley were not available. Garrett had not pitched since Saturday and was rested. Working the ninth was a new experience.

“Yeah, it felt way different,” Garrett said. “I haven’t pitched in a few days, but it was way different. My adrenaline was going. That’s why I was all over the place. I had to recollect my thoughts and say, ‘Man, this is the same inning as whatever.’ But coming into the ninth to save the game, it’s definitely a different feeling. I was just happy to get out of it. It wasn’t pretty, but we did it. We got it done, baby, and I got a save.”

Garrett compared his first save to dunking a basketball for the first time when he was in eighth grade. Once he figured it out, he was able to dunk all the time. Now that Garrett has a save, he wouldn’t mind being a closer.

“That’s what I’m destined to be. It fits my mentality,” Garrett said. “That was all I needed to know to do this. I got the first one out of the way. Now it’s going to be like a domino effect, if I get the chance. Now I know I can come in the ninth inning and save a ballgame. I have all the confidence in myself. The first one is always good to get out of the way.”

Goodwin’s grab
Garrett’s ninth inning almost started poorly when Colin Moran led off with a drive deep to center field. With a leaping grab above the fence, Brian Goodwin robbed Moran of a home run, as Garrett stood amazed on the mound with his arms folded in appreciation.

“I joke around with him and say he didn’t get up there, but [Goodwin] saved me,” Garrett said. “He saved me in that situation, because I was not expecting that from Moran.”

Goodwin felt like he was seeing the ball well off the bat.

“I was just locked in, focusing on every pitch, every strike that AG was throwing and just happened to get a good jump on that one,” Goodwin said. “Starting to get a little more comfortable out here in the outfield, knowing where the walls are and the track and everything and just kind of play what I knew and what we practice on. I just so happened to have the bunnies to go up and go get it, and we got it.”

Hendrick added to player pool
The Reds announced Wednesday that outfield prospect Austin Hendrick was added to the player pool and reported to Prasco Park for workouts. Hendrick, 19, was the 12th overall selection in the 2020 MLB Draft and is the organization’s No. 3 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

Spring Training scheduled released
MLB and the Reds released the 2021 Spring Training schedule on Wednesday. Cincinnati's Cactus League play opens on Feb. 27 vs. Cleveland and concludes against the Ohio rival on March 28. Among the other clubs visiting Goodyear Ballpark are the Giants (March 5), Angels (March 6), Brewers (March 11), Cubs (March 14) and A’s (March 18).

Hispanic Heritage Month
MLB and its clubs will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month this weekend, beginning on Friday, with special programming and content that celebrates contributions to baseball by current and past Latino players.

The Reds will place cutouts of all eight Hispanic players in the club’s Hall of Fame in the seats behind home plate at Great American Ball Park. All uniformed personnel are slated to wear the alternate Los Rojos jerseys on Sunday.

A Q&A session will be conducted with several of the Reds’ Hispanic players as well, and it will be shared with local youth baseball players and at reds.com/unity.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook.