Alfredes Aceves was the winning pitcher in last night’s 16-inning marathon between the Red Sox and Rays, throwing three scoreless innings before Dustin Pedroia’s hit finally broke a 0-0 tie.
With the victory Aceves improved to 19-2 for his career, which is a .905 winning percentage that ranks as the best mark in MLB history among all pitchers with at least 20 decisions. Seriously.
Of course, by making the cutoff just 20 decisions the whole list is basically filled with pitchers like Aceves, who while very effective weren’t exactly Cy Young contenders:
W L WIN%
ALFREDO ACEVES 19 2 .905
Luis Aloma 18 3 .857
Howie Krist 37 11 .771
Brendan Donnelly 32 10 .762
Brad Clontz 22 8 .733
Brad Clontz! All five of those guys are non-closer relievers who vultured wins because of how they were used as much as how well they pitched, but 19-2 is still pretty remarkable for someone with just 189 total innings.
Bump the decision cutoff up to, say, 250 and the leaders are Whitey Ford (.690), Pedro Martinez (.687), Lefty Grove (.680), Roy Halladay (.669), and Christy Matthewson (.668), which is a slightly more impressive list.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.