Here’s the problem with Alfredo Aceves:

When he’s good, he’s pretty good. But when he’s bad, the Red Sox end up offering free tickets to anyone who paid money to sit through the misery.

Yeah, yeah, the Sox ostensibly made last night’s free ticket offer because of the weather, a nor’eastery mix of cold, wind, rain, wind, cold, wind and rain that forced an end to the 13-0 laugher after just seven innings.

But by the time Aceves was done with his work against the Oakland A’s, the elements were the least of anyone’s problems.

Making presumably his final start before John Lackey rejoins the rotation this weekend, Aceves pitched like a guy with his mind elsewhere. He allowed eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits and four walks in 31⁄3 innings. He also surrendered a home run to Seth Smith. The only reason half of his 80 pitches weren’t balls is because hits are considered strikes.

“There seemed to be a lack of focus given the way Alfredo has pitched this year for us, and in particular his last outing in Cleveland,” manager John Farrell said. “It wasn’t a good night.”

That’s an understatement. Getting shelled is one thing. Doing so while making a litany of mental errors is harder to stomach. And never was Aceves worse than in the third, when he fell a wild pitch and hit batter shy of the pitching cycle of ineptitude.

Aceves walked three, was called for a pair of balks, failed to cover first base on a grounder, then compounded that mistake with a wild throw that allowed Josh Reddick to reach second before eventually scoring. He was equally scattered in his postgame comments, offering excuses for why he struggled and then dismissing them.

The weather was bad, but he has to pitch through it. The strike zone was small, but he has to deal with it. A’s starter Bartolo Colon dug a hole in front of the mound, but it’s part of the game.

“It’s hard to explain to you guys,” Aceves said. “You guys just see the errors, the runs, the hits, whatever. It’s really hard to — how can I explain? — to get through that plate. For whatever reason, the strike zone got small. Obviously you guys don’t see it that way. You see the runs. As a pitcher, man, it’s not easy. Also, the weather, whatever weather it is, we should be able to play. Also it don’t matter what score it is. We’ve got to have our backs, not because it’s 10 or 13, I’m going to sit back and relax for the next game. No, there’s no second game. We’ve got to have our backs. Pretty much that.”