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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Aceves (Alfredo)”

Rain Delay, Go Away

Come again when there’s not two games to play. Alfredo Aceves arrived late to Fenway but arrived in time to make the start. It was close enough that Franklin Morales was sent to the bullpen to get warmed up to replace Aceves if need be. It wasn’t an attitude issue with Aceves but rather Boston traffic. Aceves ended up securing the first game of the doubleheader with a respectable line: 5 innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks, and 2 strikeouts. The Long Brothers were early enough for the ceremonial first pitch. These Tennessee siblings participated in a triathlon together because Conner wanted to connect with his younger brother Cayden. Cayden has spastic cerebral palsy and can neither talk nor walk. The rain delay was so long this kid went through puberty. Koji Uehara’s glove is embossed with his silhouette. Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango? Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright’ning me! Game 72: June 18, 2013 Tampa Bay Rays36-34 1 L: Chris Archer (1-3) 2B: Luke Scott (5), Ben Zobrist (18), Matt Joyce (12) Boston Red Sox43-29 5 W: Alfredo Aceves (4-1)H: Junichi Tazawa 2B: Jacoby Ellsbury (14)3B: Ellsbury (7), Shane Victorino (1)...


This series win by the Baltimore Orioles allowed them to make up ground in the AL East standings, going from a losing record to a winning one. The Orioles lost to the Yankees last night and now three teams are tied with five wins (Baltimore, Boston, and New York) and the other two teams in the division have four wins. It’s early, but the pursuit of the pennant will be hotly contested. That heat didn’t translate to the Red Sox bats. They had no extra base hits and scored a paltry two runs. Stephen Drew led off the frame with a walk but Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Jacoby Ellsbury struck out. Shane Victorino lined a single to right and Drew advanced to third on the hit. Dustin Pedroia dipped down low to rope a single to right, plating Drew. Mike Napoli followed with a single to left to score Victorino. Spot starter Alfredo Aceves pitched well enough to win but Clayton Mortensen, Andrew Miller, and Koji Uehara collectively allowed the Orioles’ go-ahead run to score in the seventh. Manny Machado was in the mix, a young player at the hot corner poised to join Evan Longoria and Will Middlebrooks in...

Nuclear Inning

I need for Dennis Eckersley to come to my office to recap portions of my day with his pithy phrases. “If we win that bid it will bring in some big iron for the company,” he’d exclaim after attempting to woo a client. In a tough meeting he would try to sympathize, “Those weren’t easy questions at all, they came with some high cheese.” And if my boss had to sit me down for a heart-to-heart to discuss complaints about me it would be a “nuclear meeting.” Even after garnering Theo Epstein there was no revolution for the Cubbies. A debuting show on NBC set in the near future revised a shot of an overgrown Wrigley Field to omit the “2012 World Series Champions” sign. The North Siders can’t even win in a fictional universe. Alfredo Aceves handed the ball directly to Bobby Valentine when the reliever was pulled off the mound in the sixth but they didn’t make eye contact. With this sort of line I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror: 2 innings pitched, 4 earned runs, 2 walks, and one strikeout. Alex Ochoa and Valentine had a good rapport. Ochoa noted a tell in Chris Archer’s...

The Dead Can Dance

Terry Kiser Bernied his way to the mound to hurl the first pitch. Assuming the roles of Larry Wilson (originated by Andrew McCarthy) and Richard Parker (Jonathan Silverman) were Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick. The way the Athletics have gelled this season to contend for a playoff spot reminds me of Red Sox championship teams of the past. In Boston we had cowboyed up and been idiots.This year’s Red Sox have no theme but a funeral dirge while in Oakland they dance in unison to an 80s movie. Even Don and Jerry jumped on Bernie’s bandwagon. Alfredo Aceves has been Bobby Valentine’s whipping post since his suspension. In the fourth inning Aceves staunchly stood in the middle of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and James Loney when trying to field a foul pop-up off Crisp’s bat. Crisp ended up doubling and once he was there Aceves was obsessed with throwing pickoffs to the keystone sack. Dustin Pedroia discussed the matter with Aceves in the dugout after the inning. Valentine interceded when interaction got heated but in the end left it up to the players. Game 134: September 1, 2012 Boston Red Sox62-72 1 L: Felix Doubront (10-7) No extra base hits Oakland Athletics75-57...

Atrocious Aceves

In the seventh Ryan Lavarnway moved so fast cameras couldn’t clearly capture his superhuman speed. The backstop lunged after Torii Hunter’s popped up bunt attempt and snagged it before it touched the infield dirt. Perhaps blame should not be placed on Alfredo Aceves alone. Bobby Valentine did make the reliever pitch for more than three outs. If Aceves was trying to make a case for himself to be restored as closer he presented stunningly awful evidence. He pitched a perfect eighth but grazed Erick Aybar’s toe with one down in the ninth. Aybar’s presence on the basepaths seemed to rattle Aceves, who threw to first twice before concentrating on the batter. Alberto Callaspo proceeded to walk on four pitches. Mike Trout broke his bat on a line drive single past a sprawling Dustin Pedroia for the tying run. Callaspo sprinted to third on the hit Hunter had his vengeance in the ninth. The right fielder lofted the ball to his former territory. It was deep enough so that Jacoby Ellsbury couldn’t possibly make an outfield assist to stop Callaspo from scoring the winning run. Aceves’s outing was about as messy as this kid. I love this situation. The child’s mother...

Suspended Aggravation

This team couldn’t win an extra innings game at home to save its life. Andrew Miller somehow got his tall frame out of the way of a comebacker off Eric Hosmer’s bat but the Red Sox could not avoid the Royals’ seventh inning comeback. Bobby Valentine relied on Miller longer than he would have liked because Alfredo Aceves was serving a three-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team after the reliever had a tantrum when Andrew Bailey was used as a closer instead of him. As the Red Sox once again fell in extra innings Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nick Punto arrived in Los Angeles. Gonzalez made an immediate impact with a three-run homer in the first inning. The Dodgers enjoy three-run circuit clouts while the Red Sox weather three-game suspensions. There’s two ways to rebuild a team and in Boston it will be the painful path. Game 127: August 25, 2012 ∙ 12 innings Kansas City Royals56-69 10 W: Francisley Bueno (1-0)S: Greg Holland (7)2B: Alex Gordon (41), Billy Butler (19), Eric Hosmer (19)3B: Mike Moustakas (1) Boston Red Sox60-67 9 BS: Craig Breslow (1)L: Junichi Tazawa (0-1) 2B: Dustin Pedroia (29), Jacoby Ellsbury (16)HR: Mauro Gomez...

Slim Win

Clay Buchholz used to win games in which he pitched badly but in this start and his previous one he pitched well and the game was won by late-inning hitting heroics. Buchholz lasted seven innings and turned in a respectable line: 4 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks, and 1 strikeout. The Red Sox capitalized on a leadoff walk by Cody Ross in the fourth. Two batters couldn’t advance Ross but Kelly Shoppach arced the ball to right field. David Murphy wandered an unsure path to the ball and couldn’t connect with the ball, resulting in a 1-0 lead for the visitors. Adrian Beltre had an adventurous evening. He stretched a hit into a double by seemingly evading Will Middlebroooks’s tag, but the replay showed he was out. Vicente Padilla knocked Beltre out of the game in the eighth with a pitch in the ear. Beltre tried to talk the coaching staff to keep him in the game but thankfully players don’t have a say in such matters. Elvis Andrus tied the game in the sixth. He laced a double to right field and scored on Josh Hamilton’s tap out to Mike Aviles. Aviles turned the tables on his counterpart...

True Flu

Like a latter-day Michael Jordan circa 1997 Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Josh Beckett battled through the effects of flu to secure a remarkable triumph against a key divisional rival. In the likeness of Kirk Gibson in the ninth inning of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Mike Aviles clubbed a two-run home run. The only differences were that wasn’t the World Series and Aviles wasn’t injured in both legs nor rundown with a stomach virus. Otherwise, totally like Gibson. With the grim determination of Mariano Rivera in every postseason (except 2001 and 2004, now that I think about it), Alfred Aceves retired the Rays batters in the ninth with surgical precision. He walked three batters to load the bases just to keep it interesting. Boston Red Sox 2012: standing on the shoulders of greatness. Game 89: July 15, 2012 Boston Red Sox45-44 7 W: Josh Beckett (5-7) 2B: Jacoby Ellsbury (4), Will Middlebrooks (12)HR: Mike Aviles (10), Daniel Nava (4) Tampa Bay Rays46-43 3 L: James Shields (8-6) 2B: Ben Zobrist (21), Elliot Johnson (8)...


Lex III: Actioni contrariam semper et æqualem esse reactionem: sive corporum duorum actiones in se mutuo semper esse æquales et in partes contrarias dirigi. Law III: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directionsPhilosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Sir Isaac Newton To Newton’s great mathematical and philosophical opus I add a necessary component based on my observation of the Red Sox, its ownership and management, and the Boston media. Action: Dustin Pedroia attempts to stretch a single to a double in the first inning and seems to avoid Will Rhymes’s tag. Reaction: Mark Carlson calls Pedroia out and gets into an argument with Pedroia. Overreaction: Bobby Valentine comes out to argue with Carlson, too. Dan Shaughnessy scribes 10,000-word column on Valentine’s war against umpires. Action: In the fourth inning Adrian Gonzalez plays Matt Joyce’s double to the right field corner well but misses the cutoff man. Reaction: Joyce advances to third and scores on Ben Zobrist’s ground out to first. Overreaction: Trade for Manny Ramirez to play rover when Gonzalez is in the outfield or re-sign J.D. Drew to a...

Hot Puhdayda

The Red Sox, Jerry Remy, and Don Orsillo were at the top of their game today. Orsillo and Remy proved they could do play-by-play of sports with more action in the aftermath of Cody Ross’s sixth inning home run. The ball soared over the left field wall into the parking lot. One pursuer fell on the ramp (“took a diggah” in Remy’s Somerset parlance) and it appeared that one attendant had solitary claim to the ball. That attendant got caught up in laughing at his fallen competition and was out-hustled by the man with “Staff” emblazoned on his back. With all the hubbub around Orsillo’s catch of the monstrous hammerhead shark the duo continued the theme yesterday by characterizing themselves as sea creatures. With very little hesitation Remy said “hermit crab,” a perfect fit. He fessed up that this was a suggestion from the truck. Orsillo said he was a sea turtle because of how he awoke the amorous feelings such a creature on a Red Sox cruise scuba dive. Fourth starter Felix Doubront pitched like starters one through three should be: 6 innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts. The sole run Cleveland scored came...

Things Not Thought Possible One Week Ago

Being on the brink of a winning record. A six-game winning streak. Daniel Bard having two wins, one in relief and another as a starter. Winning. Winning blowouts. Winning one-run games. Jon Lester winning a game. Ryan Sweeney the second-best hitter after David Ortiz (batting average .391, on-base percentage .412, slugging pecentage .594, and the hitter who scored the only run of the game). The bullpen only allowing one earned run in the past seven days (Scott Atchison on April 25 against the Twins). Alfredo Aceves pitching lights out. Mark Twain memorably stated “one of the brightest gems in the New England weather is the dazzling uncertainty of it.” The same can be said for this year’s edition of the Red Sox. Game 20: April 28, 2012 Boston Red Sox10-10 1 W: Jon Lester (1-2)H: Franklin Morales (5)H: Vicente Padilla (2)S: Alfredo Aceves (5) 2B: Ryan Sweeney (11) Chicago White Sox10-11 0 L: Jake Peavy (3-1) 2B: Paul Konerko – 2 (9)...

When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears

I knew that I would miss Jonathan Papelbon but I didn’t know it would be this hard and this soon. How I’ll miss hearing “I’m Shipping Up to Boston.” The way the pitchers tapped to replace Andrew Bailey have been pitching Ken Casey probably won’t let them use his song. My suggestions? Alfredo Aceves’s entry song should be Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out” and Mark Melancon’s “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” by the Smashing Pumpkins. Things are falling apart; the center is not holding. Around the pitcher’s mound swirls a maelstrom of uncertainty. Clay Buchholz didn’t give up the longball like Josh Beckett did but in the four innings Buchholz pitched he allowed 8 hits and 7 runs. The best relief arm on the Red Sox roster, Daniel Bard, is starting this Tuesday night’s game against the Blue Jays. As disappointing as the pitching has been, the Red Sox offense finally came to life. Mike Aviles knocked in key hits in the second and third innings to chip away at the Tigers’ lead, executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to add to his team’s lead in the ninth, and singled and scored in the eleventh. Adrian Gonzalez swatted his first home run...

Jan Kaas

After a tortuous first inning that almost took an hour the game sped up to encompass a mere four hours and 21 minutes. For other match-ups such a long game would mean extravagant scores in the double digits. But for a Yankees-Red Sox game, it meant a taut contest of just a half-dozen runs combined. The local nine seemed to have the game won in the fourth inning with Dustin Pedroia’s circuit clout to dead center. But in the sixth and seventh innings Alfredo Aceves showed the shakiness that prompted the Yankees to jettison him from their staff. Aceves allowed Russell Martin to start the sixth with a single to left but induced a double play from Eduardo Nunez. With two down Derek Jeter smacked a single off the wall, Curtis Granderson walked, and Mark Teixeira was hit with a pitch to load the bases. Teixeira took the curveball to the knee with all the toughness of an inbred thoroughbred racehorse, collapsing to the ground on contact. In the seventh Aceves’s inconsistency continued. Andruw Jones earned a base after a 14-pitch showdown and Jesus Montero, who was making his major league debut, was grazed by a pitch. “Jan Kaas,” pronounced...

Money Footy Ball

The series against the feeble Twins ended not with a bang but with a whimper. In the seventh inning Mike Aviles worked a two-out walk and advanced to second on Trevor Plouffe’s failure to glove Nick Blackburn’s toss to first. Marco Scutaro, seemingly inspired by Jed Lowrie’s return to the team, lined a single into left to bring his squad within a run. David Ortiz clouted the game-tying home run into a bullpen catcher’s mitt in the eighth, a shot to the deepest part of the park. But another slugger, Jim Thome, broke the tie in the bottom of the same frame with a double to left that Carl Crawford might have had a chance at with a better route and positioning. Alfredo Aceves took over from Jon Lester after he gave up the lead but wasn’t the beneficiary of a vulture win by the generosity of the Red Sox lineup. John Henry was generous to his newly-acquired soccer team Liverpool during the Premiere League’s offseason. He spent $170 million on five new players: Charlie Adam: $13 million Andy Carroll: $57 million (highest transfer fee paid for an English player) Stewart Downing: $30 million Jordan Henderson: $30 million Luís Suárez:...

Darts and Vulture

MINNEAPOLIS — Alfredo Aceves, a known clubhouse prankster, extended his most elaborate practical joke yet last night. “Ever since the end of July me and the guys have been avoiding getting Wakes [Tim Wakefield] his 200th win,” whispered Aceves with an enormous grin across his face. “I kinda went overboard in Chicago and lost the game, but since then we’ve made it so someone from the bullpen gets the win.” When asked who was in on the antics Aceves merely put a finger to his lips. But others in the Red Sox proudly proclaimed their role in the shenanigans. “You try and go out there every fifth day and try and catch a knuckler,” exclaimed an exasperated Jarrod Saltalamacchia. “It was pretty evil of me to tie the game up in the sixth with that home run. Timmy came up to me all grateful and excited when I got back to the bench. It took everything I had not to bust out laughing. I looked over at Papi [David Ortiz] and his shoulders were shaking.” Before Saltalamacchia’s home run Ortiz blasted a two-run four-bagger into the right field seats. One person not part of the ploy was Terry Francona. “I’m...

Areyoukiddingme Alfredo

Alfredo Aceves served salad without cheese, but at least held back on meatballs. Dennis Eckersley needs to be on the post-game shows with disastrous pitching performances so I can expand my baseball vocabulary. Then again, he might not have any that are suitable for print. Aceves walked five consecutive batters in the second resulting in two runs for the visiting team. In the top half of the next frame two more runs crossed the plate for the Padres, but this time Aceves made them earn it by swinging the bat. Anthony Rizzo doubled over Josh Reddick’s leap near the wall and clanged it off the “SD” sign on the scoreboard. Cameron Maybin singled to plate Rizzo and was in turned driven in by Nick Hundley’s liner to left. What was most frustrating is that both of these scoring flurries came after Aceves notched the first two outs of the inning with relative ease. If he had it for two batters, why couldn’t he bear down for the final out of the inning? The Red Sox scored in dribs and drabs but couldn’t coalesce them into the torrent of scores they did in the opening game of the series. Reddick played...

Humber Pie

You could say Ozzie Guillen’s offense was “CliCing” on all cylinders. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy spent as much time commenting on Guillen’s reading glasses as the White Sox did scoring. After two outstanding starts Alfredo Aceves came crashing down to earth like Jed Lowrie tumbling after batted balls before they slip into the outfield. Lowrie missed last night’s game because of an ailing shoulder from his collision with Carl Crawford in Detroit. Kevin Youkilis almost took out Lowrie in the top of the ninth on A.J. Pierzynski’s pop out, but he’s no Adrian Beltre. Lowrie led off the bottom of the ninth with a five-pitch walk and sparked a mini-rally. Jason Varitek queued a single off Alexei Ramirez’s glove and the deflection allowed Lowrie to advance to third. Josh Reddick anxiously swung at the first pitch but his fly ball was deep enough in left for Lowrie to tag up for a run. Drew Sutton lofted a fly ball to right that was either a home run or fan interference depending on the camera angle. The officials, like Brent Lillibridge, let the chips fall where they may for an RBI double. Adrian Gonzalez struck out looking to end the...

Two More Touchdowns and a Rouge

The Red Sox laid waste to another Rust Belt city’s squad by scoring another 14 runs. Drew Sutton hit two doubles in a second consecutive game and Alfredo Aceves won his second start in a Red Sox uniform. It’s the baseball equivalent of “Groundhog Day” but unfortunately the Yankees are following the same script; the Bronx Bromides have won two games in a row and are just .003 percentage points ahead of the Red Sox in terms of winning percentage. However, the two AL East powerhouses are neck and neck using the “games back” calculation. Max Scherzer, he of the heterochromic eyes, reeled off six wins in eight starts but, like the city itself, has been on the skids the last two games. His previous loss to Pittsburgh wasn’t as bad as the pummeling meted out by Boston: 7 hits, 7 earned runs, 2 walks, and 1 strikeout. All the damage was done in two innings worth of outs; Scherzer also pitched in the third and was pulled after Carl Crawford tripled to plate Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. The difference in Scherzer’s eyes may be caused by mosaicism, which is the presence of two different sets of genes in...

Off the Wall

It was hard for the Red Sox to get the bats warmed up on a raw night like tonight although Orioles had no problems squaring up on Daisuke Matsuzaka. Brian Roberts’s liner off Matsuzaka’s chest to start the game may have thrown the pitcher off his game; he departed the mound after four and one-third innings with seven walks and two strikeouts under his belt and two runners on base. Scott Atchison, summoned from Pawtucket in the wake of John Lackey being placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a right elbow strain, allowed both inherited runners to score. Looking up at a six-run deficit the Red Sox batters didn’t chip away but rather roared back in the bottom of the sixth. For just the fourth time this season the squad batted around. J.D. Drew started the inning with a line drive to Luke Scott, who made an error that allowed Drew to take second. Scott was probably obsessed to the point of distraction about requesting certificates of live birth for people whose origins he found questionable. In the sixth inning rally Jed Lowrie and Kevin Youkilis doubled while Drew, Jason Varitek, and Adrian Gonzalez singled. Throw in Carl...


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