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May 19, 2013

Red Sox reliever Breslow talks pitching

Boston Red Sox southpaw reliever Craig Breslow isn’t just a left-handed specialist. The 32-year-old Trumbull (Conn.) High grad has been effective during his career vs. both left- and right-handed batters.

Right-handed batters have hit .225 against him while lefties have hit .226.

Breslow, who is signed through 2014 with a team option for 2015, began the year on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder tendinitis. He has since returned and is important to a bullpen that has lost some depth recently with news that Joel Hanrahan will miss the remainder of 2013 because of surgery on his right flexor muscle.

Breslow pitched at Yale and was considering going to medical school. He graduated with degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry.

The Wall Street Journal named him the Smartest Man in Baseball in 2009.

Breslow recently went one-on-one with Eagle-Tribune baseball reporter Christopher “Smitty” Smith.

Smitty: You have similarly strong stats against both lefties and righties. Have you always felt comfortable against both?

Breslow: I’ve always felt that way and always been pretty consistent in terms of splits. It wasn’t really until it was pointed out to me that I had been effective against lefties that I started to kind of think of myself as a left-handed reliever who gets left-handed hitters out.

I had been a starter through college and always been pretty effective and pretty well equipped to handle both righties and lefties and face them with equal comfort.

Smitty: Is that because you have four different pitches?

Breslow: Absolutely. I attack righties and lefties differently in terms of pitch selection, but I feel like I’ve got the weapons to handle both. The one thing that shouldn’t change is the consistency and aggressiveness with which I attack those guys.

With righties I go more fastball/changeup, fastball/cutter. Lefties I’m more fastball/breaking ball. But I feel like the ability to throw multiple pitches in any count has kind of made me effective against both.

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