Saturday, March 24, 2012
Sox bench coach on Aceves: 'A hiccup'
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Takeaway from the Fort, where the Boston Red Sox were clubbed, 10-5, by the Philadelphia Phillies, in a split-squad game at JetBlue Park:
Alfredo Aceves was lit up for 10 hits, including 3 home runs, and 9 runs in 3 innings. He walked a batter, hit another, and threw a wild pitch. His pitches were up, he had trouble locating, and when he did throw a strike, it caught too much of the plate -- and Phillies' bats.
"He looked out of sorts from the get-go," said bench coach Tim Bogar, who managed this split squad of Sox players while Bobby Valentine was in Jupiter.
What does it mean? Well, neither Valentine nor pitching coach Bob McClure were here -- they were watching Felix Doubront, who was terrific in Jupiter -- so if they needed to make up their minds on Aceves, that wouldn't have happened.
Bogar called it a "hiccup," a rational notion given the superb way Aceves has pitched most of the spring, adding that "we haven't seen that since last August."
"A guy like Aceves, you should look at his track record,'' Bogar said. "He's shown us he can pitch.''
Aceves adopted a similar posture: "One outing is not going to tell you the value of a pitcher," he said.
Aceves walked leadoff batter Shane Victorino on four pitches to open the game. Juan Pierre swept a ground-rule double into the right-field corner, and after Aceves got away with a high slider to strike out Hunter Pence, he threw a wild pitch to Laynce Nix to score a run. John Mayberry Jr. lined a 400-foot single off the center-field fence for another run, Pete Orr and Freddy Galvis opened the second with back-to-back home runs, and Carlos Ruiz hit another home run to lead off the third.
"This is one of those days nothing went good," said Aceves, adding after his news conference, "I wasn't on the same page with myself."
Aceves wasn't alone. Dustin Pedroia dropped an easy throw at second, something that may not have happened since he played at Woodland High.
Darnell McDonald and Jacoby Ellsbury both made off-target throws to cutoff men, with shortstop Mike Aviles lunging to spear Ellsbury's throw, then losing a footrace to Juan Pierre to second base while Victorino strolled home from third. Michael Bowden relieved Aceves and gave up hits to three of the first four batters he faced, a run scoring.
Good news? Vicente Padilla made his first appearance since straining his hamstring, and looked dynamic in a scoreless inning of relief, his first since Valentine told him he was out of the mix--for now, anyway--for a starting job. Franklin Morales and closer Andrew Bailey also had a scoreless inning apiece.
Shortstop competition: Aviles had two hits, including a double, and is batting .293, while the rookie, Jose Iglesias, 0 for 3 in Jupiter, is now 1 for his last 13 and batting .174.
Check back later to read my thoughts on the rotation.