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Bobby Valentine going old school with Alfredo Aceves

May 23, 2012, 5:59 PM EDT

Alfredo Aceves Getty Images

Red Sox closer Alfredo Aceves is on a roll, having converted nine straight save chances. And they haven’t all been easy: in the last week, he has three save of four outs.

That may not look overly significant at first glance, but Aceves is the only reliever with multiple saves of more than three outs this season. In all, there have been 16 saves of more than one inning. Four of those were of the three-inning variety in games that were blowouts. Just seven of the saves took place in games that were decided by three runs or fewer, and Aceves has three of them.

Today, Aceves entered a 6-5 game against the Orioles with the tying run on second and struck out Nick Johnson, who had homered twice, to end the eighth. He then pitched a perfect ninth.

Of course, Aceves is used to the heavier workload and is probably better conditioned than any other closer to get saves of four-to-six outs. Credit should go to Bobby Valentine for realizing that and not saving him for the ninth in games when he’s needed earlier.

  1. xsherr - May 23, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Pasta man is dialed in. I’ll be up in Boston tomorrow, hopefully I can catch a sox game!

    • cmcgly - May 23, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      no disrespect to the current fill ins (who have been producing), but I wouldn’t pay fenway park prices to see scott podsednik, daniel nava, and che-hsuan lin

      • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - May 23, 2012 at 6:44 PM

        Why is it when tools say “no disrespect” they disrespect? No disrespect but no one will care if you don’t show up.

      • hammyofdoom - May 23, 2012 at 6:51 PM

        While I can’t really back up Podsednik, Nava is slugging .600 for the sox and che-hsuan lin is probably the best outfield prospect they have, including what they have in the majors. And even though they have a whole baseball team worth of outfielders on the DL they are still at .500. Definitely worth watching

      • Matthew Pouliot - May 23, 2012 at 7:05 PM

        The Red Sox were probably guilty of some poor planning in the offseason, but I’m not sure how they could be expected to account for the possibility that they might have seven outfielders on the DL. Seven!

      • cmcgly - May 23, 2012 at 7:51 PM

        @brokea$$lovesmesomeme

        I think you just proved your own theory true, sir

      • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - May 23, 2012 at 9:14 PM

        So what your saying is I think I’m a tool. That would explain alot.

      • hammyofdoom - May 23, 2012 at 10:39 PM

        UGH Che-hsuan lin is the best DEFENSIVE prospect******* not prospect in general.

  2. hammyofdoom - May 23, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Granted I haven’t watched baseball for TOO long (I was 14 when the sox won in 04, started following hardcore in ’03) but Alfredo has been one of the most impressive relievers I’ve seen with the Red Sox in that time. Minus his first couple of games he has been absolutely dominant, the game where he pitched 2 2/3 innings, striking out 6 (5 in a row) was incredible to watch. Since April 23rd he’s given up 2 runs. Two runs in a month, along with an 20/5 K/BB ratio in 16 innings. Bobby has made some questionable calls this year, but putting Alfredo in as close is SO FAR looking like a genius move

    • 18thstreet - May 24, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      I was not a supporter of this move (mostly, I thought the obvious choice was to make Bard the closer), but I’m just about positive that this was NOT Bobby V’s decision. The front office said they’d make Bard a starter. I’m not sure who else would have pitched the ninth other than Aceves. If it were Bobby’s decision alone, he would have gone with Bard.

  3. cur68 - May 23, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Aceves actually suffers from too many pitches, IMO. He tries to use them all, but he just does not seem to get a close call on a breaking pitch but continues to throw them because he has to get so many batters. What’s amazing is seeing him grit his teeth and blaze one in at 95mph. His fastball is as good as Papelbons. Its a full on Doberman Testicle Sack Fastball. I had no idea he could do that. I’m not surprised he’s saved as many with all those innings, frankly. Not after I saw him unleash his Dobermans on the Beaver Men earlier this season. I guess since he only has to get 3 to 5 guys, he feels like he can rear back and unleash the big dog.

  4. cmcgly - May 23, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    very encouraging news that kalish is gonna play in minor league games soon, curious to see if he can pick up where he left off and/or stay healthy

    • hammyofdoom - May 23, 2012 at 10:42 PM

      I am SO nervous about Kalish. He was their top prospect for a while, but now he’s had that shoulder injury and he’s missed a lot of time. I hope he’s going to be the Sox’s right fielder of the future, but I have doubts

  5. chadjones27 - May 23, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    Getting 4 – 6 out saves is a lot easier in a league where your pitchers don’t hit.

  6. bigharold - May 23, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Valentine better hope that Bailey comes back soon. Aceves is a good pitcher but he;ll be cooked by August if he keeps up up with multiple inning saves.

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