After brutal ALCS outing, Jake Peavy gets shot at redemption
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter October 25, 2013 9:56PM
Despite a rough Game 4 in the American League Championship Series, Jake Peavy doesn’t think he has to prove himself in Game 3 of the World Series. | Jeff Roberson/AP
Updated: November 27, 2013 6:14AM
Jake Peavy knows he was bad in the American League Championship Series.
And if he didn’t know it already, he was reminded that “What have you done for me lately?” is the only thing that seems to matter, especially in Red Sox Nation.
Peavy relishes the spotlight, and he’ll finally be on the big stage he always has wanted — a World Series appearance — when his Boston Red Sox play the St. Louis Cardinals in a pivotal Game 3 at Busch Stadium on Saturday night.
He understands the scrutiny; he just has a hard time getting his head around the notion that there’s something for him to prove after his ALCS stinker, in which he gave up seven earned runs in three innings to the Detroit Tigers in Game 4.
“It sounds crazy, but I have nothing to prove to myself,’’ said Peavy, who wondered if everyone forgot that he allowed one run in 52/3 innings in Boston’s Division Series clincher against the Tampa Bay Rays. “You go down and win on the road in Tampa, and you have guys singing your praises. Five days later, you have them all over you, and you ‘can’t win a big game.’ Yet you just pitched in the game that clinched it for your team.’’
Big game? Saturday night is the big one for Peavy, 32, who — nothing against “the boys” with the White Sox — was bouncing off the clubhouse walls in anticipation of a move to Boston as the trade deadline approached in late July. He got his wish.
Now he wants to make sure the Red Sox did the right thing making him one of their boys.
“I just want to do all I can do to not let 24 guys down,’’ Peavy said.
Working in the right-hander’s favor is a strong history against the Cardinals. The 2007 National League Cy Young winner owns a 2.08 ERA in four starts at Busch Stadium, including a seven-inning, one-run outing for the White Sox in 2012.
Peavy attributes his problems against the Tigers in his last start to an adjustment he made with his arm slot since coming to Boston. He lowered it slightly, and finding it or having to make adjustments accordingly in game situations can be tricky, he said.
“He came out and threw a clean first inning,’’ Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “And then in the second inning, he tried to be a little bit too fine. It worked against him.’’
“There’s absolutely no excuses [Saturday] night,’’ Peavy said Friday.
Originally penciled in to start Game 4, Peavy was pushed up to Game 3 because of Clay Buchholz’s iffy shoulder. That could mean a Game 7 assignment.
That would be as big as the stage gets. But first things first.
“Let’s not sugarcoat anything: This is the biggest game that I’ve ever pitched,” Peavy said. “To go out in a World Series game and have a chance to sway the odds, the favor, in your direction, on the road, with a team that’s got some momentum with a big win at our place. Of course, this is the biggest start in my career.”