Sox's Reed thriving with changeup

August, 22, 2012
8/22/12
11:22
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox’s three-game sweep of the New Yankees – which concluded with a 2-1 win on Wednesday -- had some major impactful moments that went beyond the victories themselves.

Closer Addison Reed may have come of age in one of those memorable matchup moments against Mark Teixeira in the ninth inning on Wednesday evening. When Teixeira stepped to the plate, Robinson Cano stood on first representing the tying run. Teixeira, looking for a 98 mph fastball, struck out on a changeup that he missed by a foot. < /p>

[+] EnlargeAddison Reed
David Banks/US PresswireAddison Reed earned his 23rd save on Wednesday night.

“That is a major league save,” said Sox manager Robin Ventura. “You go in there and get those guys out in that lineup, that is a pretty good test for you. He is not afraid and that is the one thing I love about him. He goes out there and he competes, he has a lot of guts.”

The 23-year-old Reed garnered his eighth consecutive save by getting pinch-hitter Eric Chavez ground out to end the game and secure Chris Sale’s 15th win of the season.

“That was a huge win for us,” Reed said. “I am glad I was able to throw a good changeup to Teixeira. That is a pitch I have been working on and that I have confidence in now.”

With Reed on the mound a month ago, that type of breaking ball would probably have not been a pitch called for with the game on the line.

“I think that pitch has been coming along for me the last couple of weeks,” Reed said. “To be honest, maybe three or four weeks ago that would not have been the pitch to call for me in that situation. Today A.J. (Pierzynski) called for it and it felt good, and he was confident enough in me to (call for the changeup).”

Give the White Sox’s coaching staff and Pierzynski credit for bringing Reed along to the point where he can succeed in big games.

“(The changeup) has always been his pitch more so then his breaking ball,” Pierzynski said. “He is now a three-pitch guy, and he has the ability to throw strikes with all of them. He made good pitches to the heart of the Yankee lineup and got through it.”

Reed’s 23 saves are a rookie franchise record. He also is the rookie saves leader in the major leagues this season.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.292 29 74 51
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 29
RBIJ. Abreu 74
RJ. Abreu 51
OPSJ. Abreu .961
WC. Sale 9
ERAC. Sale 2.03
SOJ. Quintana 115