Aceves not sharp versus hot White Sox bats


Aceves not sharp versus hot White Sox bats

By DannyPicard

BOSTON --@font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; The Red Sox offense fought back to score six runs in thefinal two innings on Tuesday night against the Chicago White Sox at FenwayPark, but the damage had already been done.

Alfredo Aceves allowed eight runs, six earned, in five-plusinnings in the Red Sox' 10-7 defeat, giving him his first loss since June of 2009.

Tuesday night was just his third start of the season. Hisusual role is in the bullpen, and it may be a role that hell soon return tonow that John Lackey will officially be back pitching on Sunday.

Whatever Aceves' role, he wasnt nearly as goodin his third start of the season as he was in his first two. In those appearances, he allowed only two earned runs in 11 innings.

Tuesday, however, told a different story.

I dont think he executed like he has certainly in the lastcouple of outings, said Red Sox manager Terry Francona after Tuesday nights10-7 loss to the White Sox. Saying that, there were some balls that foundholes. The two walks, and us not finishing the ground ball to short, certainlydidnt help in that inning. But he wasnt quite as sharp as hes been.

The White Sox scored four runs in the second inning, afterAceves loaded the bases with no outs on a pair of walks and an A.J. Pierzynskisingle. Gordon Beckham singled to left field to score Paul Konerko, and then RedSox shortstop Jed Lowrie booted a Brent Morel grounder in the hole that scoredPierzynski to make it 2-0. Alexei Ramirez topped it off with a two-run singleup the middle to make it 4-0.

Pierzynski added another run with an RBI ground-rule doublein the third to make it 5-0, and then Ramirez drove in Chicagos sixth run inthe fourth to give the White Sox a 6-1 lead.

Aceves was removed from the game with no outs the sixthafter he hit Adam Dunn with a pitch and then allowed a single to Beckham. ScottAtchison came in, and Juan Pierre drove in two more runs that were charged toAceves, giving the White Sox a commanding 8-1 lead.

Though Aceves wasnt as sharp as he wasin his first two starts, everyone involved realized that the White Sox shouldget some credit for having brought their "A" game, as well as a little luck.

It was one of those games where you feel real good, and thethings dont happen that way, said Aceves. You just have to swallow, andprepare myself for the next start.

The White Sox are really good hitters too, and I feel happyfor us because we scored a lot of runs too, added Aceves. That helps us a lotto win a ballgame. Unfortunately, I couldnt hold the team.

They have really good hitters, Konerko and Pierzynski. Itwas a little bit of everything. Sometimes mistakes, sometimes not luck, andsometimes they swung at good pitches, and it was luck for them.

Jason Varitek was behind the plate for Aceves on Tuesdaynight, and while he said hes still learning about him, he agreed with Acevesopinions on what went wrong, and more specifically, what went right forChicago.

I thought the White Sox just swung the bats well, saidVaritek. We werent able to adjust. We werent able to get into a good rhythm.They went from hitting some good pitches, to balls finding holes. We couldntreally ever get ourselves established with anything.

Sometimes you credit the other side, added Varitek. And Ithought today that they did a good job of when he did make pitches, balls foundsome holes. They also did a good job of hitting. That second inning startsoff with a walk, and then A.J. has a really good at-bat and pulls his handsinside on a cutter that was a pretty dog-gone good pitch.

If you have some things going different ways, some resultscan be different.

The results were different for Aceves on Tuesday night, asthe loss was only the second of his career, as opposed to his 16 total wins.

With Lackey returning to the rotation Sunday, Aceves rolecould change in the near future. Whether its staying in the rotation as thefifth starter until Daisuke Matsuzaka comes back, or returning to the bullpen,Aceves is prepared.

Ive been saying it all season, Im a pitcher, saidAceves. Thats what I do. Im a pitcher. It dont matter whats your spot oryour role. Youve got to pitch. Youve got to make outs. Youve got to getouts.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945


NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.