Atchison gives Sox the best relief in baseball

Atchison gives Sox the best relief in baseball
May 30, 2012, 10:06 pm
Share This Post

BOSTON -- Scott Atchison isn't getting many headlines. But he is getting plenty of work and doing the most with his appearances.
Atchison, who pitched one third of an inning in the Red Sox' 6-3 win over the Detroit Tigers Tuesday night, has thrown more relief innings -- 29 13 -- than any pitcher in baseball. He also sports a 0.92 ERA, fourth best among qualifying relievers in the big leagues.
Atchison, in fact, went into Wednesday's game with a chance to go the entire month of May without allowing a run. The last run he allowed came on April 29. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 13 outings, covering 17 23 innings.
The latter represents the longest current scorleess streak of any pitcher in the majors.
Opposing righthanded hitters have hit just .189 against him while lefties have hit just .212.
"He's an efficient thrower,'' said Bobby Valentine. "His 90 (mph) reads more than that, obviously, because the hitter doesn't see 90; they see something more than that. He's got late rotation and the short arm stroke behind him and he's able to move the ball side-to-side and do it with efficiency.
"Before the ball leaves his hand, you can see where the catcher is and know where the ball is going to be most all of the time. Then, all he you need is a plan and he works his plan against hitters.''
Atchison has had to overcome numerous trips back and forth to the minors and the perception that he's not overpowering.
"He's evolved into a very good pitcher,'' said Valentine. '"But because he doesn't throw 95 mph, as soon as he gets hits, people are going to say, 'It was all smoke and mirrors from the beginning.' It's kind of a weird thing.''