Peavy can see White Sox in over their heads without fixes fast
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com May 1, 2013 10:25PM
Updated: June 3, 2013 3:37PM
ARLINGTON, Texas — A month into the season and the White Sox already are concerned about their season slipping away. It’s time to play better and string wins together.
Veteran pitcher and clubhouse leader Jake Peavy knows it. And he knows his days with the Sox could be numbered if they don’t turn it around.
‘‘We have to get better — we understand that,’’ Peavy told the Sun-Times on Wednesday. ‘‘We have to clean it up in all aspects. Pitch, hit and catch the ball. Stuff we did last year that made us contenders, we’re not doing.’’
The Sox had the lowest-ranked offense and were tied for last in errors in the American League in April. Peavy doesn’t care to use injuries as an excuse.
‘‘Each one of us can do a little bit more, no matter how well or poorly each one has performed,’’ he said. ‘‘We did it last year, and there’s no excuse for not doing it again.’’
The Sox were 10-15 in April and the division-leading Tigers 15-10, a five-game gap. They gained a little ground on a good first day of May with a 5-2 win against the Texas Rangers.
‘‘We’ve got to find a way to make it happen here in a hurry,’’ Peavy said, ‘‘because you can’t win it in April, but you can certainly lose it and dig yourself a big hole and make it a long season.’’
Small shovel-fulls were taken to dig out Wednesday night. Chris Sale pitched seven strong innings, and Conor Gillaspie and Alejandro De Aza homered in a three-run seventh. Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton combined for a scoreless eighth and Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his ninth save in as many opportunities.
Against the Rangers on Thursday night, Peavy (3-1, 3.38 ERA) has a chance to give the Sox a winning series for the first time since the first week of the season.
He knows if a bad April leads to a bad May and beyond, he might not be around. He signed a two-year $29 million extension during the offseason that does not include a no-trade clause, and the Sox can build up their thin inventory of prospects or young players by dealing players like him to a contender.
‘‘I understand if things don’t go well, I do not have a no-trade and could possibly be moved,’’ Peavy said. ‘‘If the White Sox feel it’s time for me to move on and they make that move, it’s something I’d be OK with.’’
Peavy said he loves his teammates and manager Robin Ventura and his staff and would prefer to win with the Sox.
‘‘Absolutely,’’ he said. ‘‘Go around man to man and ask what we signed up for this year. It was to be in the Central and have a chance to win. I don’t think it’s too late for that to happen, but at the same time, things need to get right in a hurry. It comes down to man for man taking responsibility for what’s happened this first month and put it behind us and fight, scratch and claw our way back in it.’’
Peavy said the team doesn’t need a butt-kicking from Ventura or a player to turn tables over in the clubhouse. It’s not an issue of effort or work, he said.
‘‘You can’t work any harder than we do,’’ he said.
‘‘If you’re finding ways to lose every night, that gets contagious. We have to string a few games where we make a key pitch and get a big hit and go on a run to climb back to .500 and go from there.’’
Sale (3-2) climbed above .500 and lowered his ERA to 3.83, striking out seven and walking two. Four of the six hits, including Jeff Baker’s homer, were in the Rangers’ two-run second.
Reed hit former Sox A.J. Pierzynski (pinch hitting) on his right elbow pad with two outs and nobody on base. Pierzynski was visibly upset, flipping the bat away and yelling at Reed. Ian Kinsler singled with two outs, bringing Elvis Andrus up as the tying run, but Reed struck out Andrus to end the game.