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The Mighty Alfredo


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#1 Megunticook

  • 19 posts

Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:58 AM

Last week I took the kids to Fenway to see the day game with the O's. Without a doubt, the highlight was watching Aceves pitch himself out of jams. Twice he struck out hitters to end the inning with runners in scoring position in a tight game. It was awesome to watch, the dude has some serious poise out there and he goes right to work on the batters.

The second time he struck out a batter to kill the rally and end the inning, I practically had goosebumps (the crowd was on its feet going nuts at 2 strikes and people just exploded at strike 3).

In the midst of an unbelievably bleak, bizarre, and positively painful month, Aceves has kicked some serious ass. Not each and every time, but for the most part he has been rock solid when the rest of the pitching staff is crumbling around him.

Anyone else think this guy deserves major credit? If the Sox make it into the postseason (and I have serious doubts), he will play a major role in October for sure.

Watching him pitch reminds me of why baseball is the greatest game ever.

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Edited by Megunticook, 28 September 2011 - 08:00 AM.


#2 Quahogish

  • 8 posts

Posted 28 September 2011 - 09:10 AM

What I love about this guy, besides the fact that right now he is the obvious Sox stud on the mound, is his endurance/durability. He just "looks" like he could go every day and has been quoted as saying as much. He's probably the one Boston pitcher opposing hitters really don't want to face right now with Lester, Lackey, Bard, Paps, Beckett, etc. all at varying levels of near-scary inconsistency (and in a few cases that is a polite word).

It's never comfortable to have just one "go to" guy especially in this position, but what choice does Tito have, really? He has to use Aceves whenever he can and the good thing is Alfredo seems to eat that up. I have to believe right now that when he is on the mound, the confidence level of the entire team lifts. Alfredo is a good thing.

#3 Megunticook

  • 19 posts

Posted 28 September 2011 - 11:58 AM

I have to believe right now that when he is on the mound, the confidence level of the entire team lifts.


Absolutely. He's got conviction when he pitches, he just knows he's going to go after the hitters and get them out. And he generally does.

I'm curious about his mental and physical preparation. Does he work harder at staying fit, eating well, getting lots of sleep, keeping a positive outlook and focus? Is he better able to concentrate fully on one pitch at a time, and if he makes a mistake to just put it out of his head and focus on executing the next pitch well?

He just seems to have that champion's bearing and dedication, part of me wonders if discouragement and perhaps some complacency has crept in to some of the others who are struggling. Would love to know how his routine during the season compares to others.

Edited by Megunticook, 28 September 2011 - 11:59 AM.


#4 Quahogish

  • 8 posts

Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:55 PM

I really don't have any information on his physical preparation, eating habits, etc. (My understanding is he has trimmed down some). It's hard to say what he might be doing personally to go "above and beyond" (if he is at all) what is normally expected of all the players with regard to fitness, rest and the like. As dominating as he has been I am not to the point to call him a superman just yet.

The mental part of this is far more interesting to me. Right now he does appear to have more of that deep-rooted determination and desire to get guys out. Even anyone who has played recreational or amateur sports knows how infectious confidence can be, and he's got it right now. And I imagine knowing his teammates have confidence in him just boosts his all the more. Unfortunately it works both ways. All I have to do is mention Crawford or Salty...you gotta feel for these guys even though I have admittedly wanted to strangle them both several times this past week. I think with Aceves, the question is, how will he handle a truly bad inning?... a little adversity?....or some really bad calls by an umpire? It's gonna happen sooner or later and how he works through those situations (particularly now that we are, for all intents and purposes, in "playoff mode") will be a big indicator of his true mettle. Obviously I like what I see, but I just hope we get far enough along to find out the answers to some of these questions.

He'll be out there tonight at some point....

#5 Megunticook

  • 19 posts

Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:37 PM

Right now he does appear to have more of that deep-rooted determination and desire to get guys out.


And, perhaps most importantly, he truly believes he will make his pitches and get them out. He's not afraid to fail, and he's not afraid to challenge a hitter. That's what I mean by "conviction"--he believes he's going to beat them.

All I have to do is mention Crawford or Salty...you gotta feel for these guys even though I have admittedly wanted to strangle them both several times this past week.

Not just them, but those are good examples. With Crawford, you just get the sense that in his own mind he's already beaten. We've all had that feeling where, in a big game, you drop a fly ball or throw away the ball, and this voice in your head starts to say "please don't let the ball come to me"--because you're scared you'll f--k up again. I suspect there's a little bit of that going on with some of the Sox right now, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don't want the ball hit your way on each and every play, if you're not totally eager to make the play and get the out, then bad things will happen. Same thing at the plate, you have to WANT to be the guy up in the 9th inning with 2 outs, a runner in scoring position, and your team down by a run. Because you know you're going to come through and all your focus is on making it happen.

I think with Aceves, the question is, how will he handle a truly bad inning?... a little adversity?....or some really bad calls by an umpire?

From what I've seen he's very good at being "in the moment"--if he gives up a homer or unleashes a wild pitch, by the time the next batter steps in or the catcher throws the ball back, he's over it and totally "locked in" on executing the next pitch.

He'll be out there tonight at some point....

Whaddya mean? Lester's gonna pitch 8 innings of 2-hit ball, and Pap will come in and slam the door shut! (and then I woke up).

Edited by Megunticook, 28 September 2011 - 03:38 PM.


#6 C Earl

  • 3 posts

Posted 29 September 2011 - 12:15 AM

I think with Aceves, the question is, how will he handle a truly bad inning?... a little adversity?....or some really bad calls by an umpire?


Two hit batsmen in three pitches and then getting out of the inning (after the rain delay) showed he could handle the adversity. There seemed to be other key pieces that either were missing that desire or were just too spent to bring it out. Not to hijack Alfredo's appreciation thread but the last several games I have seen this team they just looked tired. That is excepting the Pedroia, Scutaro, Ellsbury, Aceves quartet mentioned elsewhere that seemingly tried to carry the rest of the team for the last month.