Aceves shows value out of 'pen again

September, 28, 2011
BALTIMORE -- David Ortiz made a proclamation a month ago that reliever Alfredo Aceves would be one of the reasons the Red Sox would have success in the postseason.

If the Red Sox do earn a postseason berth, Aceves will be one of the big reasons. After Boston starter Erik Bedard worked only 3 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on five hits against the Orioles Tuesday night, Aceves came in and earned the victory by shutting Baltimore down for 3 2/3 innings, allowing only one run on three hits.

[+] EnlargeAlfredo Aceves
Rob Carr/Getty ImagesAppearing in his third straight game, Alfredo Aceves pitched 3 2/3 shutdown innings.
“Good night. Good night. See you tomorrow,” Aceves shouted as he walked through the clubhouse after helping Boston to a crucial 8-7 victory over the Orioles.

The right-hander improved to 10-2 with a 2.63 ERA this season and completely held the Orioles at bay. He’s allowed only one run in his last eight outings (15 innings).

It was the third consecutive game Aceves has pitched, and Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Aceves would be available again for the season finale on Wednesday with a postseason berth at stake.

“He’s done it time and time again,” Francona said. “He’s so valuable doing what he’s doing. We thought about leaving him in and running it out, but because he’s so resilient I know we’ll have him tomorrow and chances are we’ll probably need him.”

It’s a good thing Francona didn’t decide to put Aceves in the starting rotation, as recently has been suggested by some -- including Ortiz -- and instead kept him where he would be the most valuable.

If it were up to Aceves, he’d pitch every game.

“As soon as I wake up tomorrow, I’m good,” he said.

He did admit he was fired up to be in the situation Tuesday night.

“Yes, I’m human,” he said.

“Thank God we win and that’s the most important,” added Aceves. “We’ve got to come back tomorrow with the same approach and we’ll see.”

Ortiz was absolutely right when he said Aceves’ services could be the difference between winning and losing in a playoff-type atmosphere.

“Oh, man, he’s been doing it all year,” Ortiz said. “He’s been unhittable.”

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?