The Cincinnati Reds were wishing', hoping' and praying' Alfredo Simon would work out as a starting pitcher in the wake of Mat Latos' myriad injuries.

Now they can't function, can't exist, can't live without him.

The big right-hander pushed his won-loss record to 6-2 with another brilliant performance on Wednesday — a 2-1 Reds victory in the rubber match against the Washington Nationals on "getaway day" in the Nation's Capital.

CLICK HERE for the game story.

Simon scattered five hits over 7.0 innings, yielding one run on Denard Span's first-inning home, with six strikeouts and a walk as his ERA improved to 2.31.

We expected greatness from Johnny Cueto. We expected mediocrity from Alfredo Simon. But he's delivered excellence. That makes Simon the Reds' Most Valuable Player so far ... by a landslide.

CLICK HERE for the box score.

Bring on the St. Louis Cardinals.