Atchison pitching his case for All-Star nod

Atchison pitching his case for All-Star nod

BOSTON -- Even in the closing weeks of Spring Training, Scott Atchison was merely trying to make the team. Now it's not ludicrous to suggest that the right-hander should be considered for the American League's All-Star team.

Atchison has been as effective as any setup man in the game this season, posting a 1.17 ERA in 29 games.

The righty went two innings for the win on Thursday.

It's always challenging for a reliever who doesn't close to become an All-Star, but Atchison has put himself in the running.

"I think he'll get mentioned," said manager Bobby Valentine. "I think he should get attention and mention. If you hit against him, you'd vote for him. I'd bet that."

Atchison had a career ERA of 4.09 ERA in 113 appearances entering the season. What has clicked for him this year?

"I don't know. I'm just trying to be the same pitcher I've always been -- throw strikes, get ahead and hopefully get some soft contact," said Atchison. "It's been working. [Catchers Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach] have done a great job of keeping guys off-balance and I've been following their lead, whatever they put down, kind of go with it. They've got a real good feel for that, and so I credit them for a lot of that.

"Obviously I'm making good pitches. I feel like if I make a bad one, I get away with it right now. Keep going with that and see where it takes me."