Atchison re-joins the Red Sox from Pawtucket

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Atchison re-joins the Red Sox from Pawtucket

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
PITTSBURGH Scott Atchison knows the drill. Hes done this many times before three times already this season alone.

After starting the season with Triple-A Pawtucket he was pressed into duty, making the Opening Day start for the PawSox when Alfredo Aceves was called up to the Red Sox Atchison is now in his third stint with the Red Sox after getting called up Friday when Michael Bowden was sent back down.

He has appeared in seven games, spanning 13 13 innings for the Sox this season.

He was first called up on May 5 and went a career-high 3 23 innings, throwing 67 pitches, as the Sox lost, 11-0, to the Angels. In all, he has allowed just two walks and 17 hits with nine strikeouts and seven earned runs for a 4.73 ERA with one save. Last season, Atchison and Daniel Bard offered the only measure of consistency in a bullpen that was better than just Baltimores and Kansas Citys in the American League.

The trips up and down I-95 between Boston and Pawtucket have not fazed Atchison.

Hes a pro, said manager Terry Francona. We call him and say Atch and he goes I know. Hes that guy that has that option. It helps save our staff but its not the best for him. We recognize that. Saying that, we love him. He knows that. We think he can pitch. Just, unfortunately, sometimes when guys have options, thats the way. It happened to Youk. That will go away.

Atchison knew coming into the season what it would be like.

Its kind of the same situation as last year a little bit, he said.

Obviously, I feel like Im throwing the ball pretty well. Ive had to go a little longer in games up here a few times, just trying to keep guys from being used. But its been a good year so far. Obviously, you always want to spend more time in the big leagues but hopefully thats coming.

Because hes made the trips back and forth so many times, settling in at each destination is easy.

It hasnt been too tough, he said. Usually its harder when you come up to the big leagues, especially if you dont necessarily know everybody. But I played with pretty much everybody last year, and played pretty much the whole year, and then through spring and the multiple times I came up this year. Each time I come up here its pretty easy to kind of just fit back in. Everybody knows me and I know them, too. So Im very comfortable coming in, which makes it much easier to go out and perform the more comfortable you are. But obviously you always want to be in one place, and it would be the big leagues. But if thats not the case, this is an easy situation to come into.

At 35, Atchison is on the older side to be making the frequent trips up and down. But it also makes it easier to understand the reasons.

I think maybe as a younger guy youre worrying about it so much more, going. Oh my God, am I ever going to get back? This is so tough' or 'Why is it me? or whatever the case may be, he said.

And now I just kind of take it. I know the situation. So, when I go to Triple A I just try to get back in the groove and throw. They run me out there pretty regularly, and try to just stay hot and stay sharp. So that when it comes its easy to come back up an get back in. When I come up here I just try to do my job and just hope that Im going to stick. But I know the situation so its easy to handle."

He also knows that because he still has options available (this is his last season with options), he is the easy choice to send down. It can be a mixed blessing.

"You never know if theyre having to send you through waivers if you get claimed and maybe you dont get claimed, you never know, Atchison said. Its kind of a stability thing to some extent where I know, I feel like Im going to be with Boston one way or another, there or here. And I enjoy this organization. So its not like I want to get out of here by any means. So, it can help and it can hurt. But it makes it easier for them to send me down knowing that they dont run the risk of losing me or whatever the case may be. But then at times, youre kind of like, Man, I wish I didnt have one so maybe I could stick up here easier. But, try not to think about that too much and just go out and throw.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?