Ex-White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy adds to postseason woes
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter October 27, 2013 1:00AM
ST. LOUIS —The good news for the Red Sox if they can get the World Series back to Boston and wind up in a Game 7 of this World Series is that starter Jake Peavy should be well rested for a decisive game against the Cardinals.
On second thought, that might not be such great news for the Boston faithful considering how the former White Sox pitcher came by that restful state – but it might be as good as the optimism gets, considering how he has looked in his last two postseason starts.
Peavy’s first career World Series start lasted just four shaky innings in Boston’s 5-4 wild-ending loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, which was one inning longer than he made it in his Game 4 loss to the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series.
He gave up four hits to the first five batters he faced Saturday for two quick runs and was fortunate to survive his four innings without further damage after loading the bases with none out in the fourth, but pitching out of the jam.
“I thought Jake gave us everything he had,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “They came out and they swung the bat right out of the chute against him for the four base hits in the first inning. I the bases-loaded, nobody-out situation, he made a number of big pitches to get out of it.”
Peavy was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the fifth – leaving him with a 9.27 ERA in five career postseason starts, including three this month, and a 1.925 WHIP. He hasn’t completed six innings in any of them.
“There’s absolutely no excuses [Saturday] night,” Peavy said before Saturday’s start. “This is what I’ve lived for my whole life. … I have no extra incentive to get out there to get the sour taste out of my mouth [from the Detroit start].”
Chicago native La Velle Neal III, the longtime respected baseball writer for the Kansas City Star and Minneapolis Star-Tribune, made history Saturday when he became the first African-American writer elected president of the Baseball Writers Association of America in a vote conducted during the BBWAA’s annual World Series meeting.
Neal, a University of Illinois graduate who also attended UIC, has served this year in the role of vice-president ahead of his one-year term as president for the 105-year-old organization.
“It’s truly an honor,” Neal said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to represent this tremendous organization over the next year.”
On the other hand
With Neal’s election, the number of BBWAA president-elects equaled the number of African-American ballplayers on the combined rosters of this year’s World Series teams (Boston’s Quintin Berry) -- underscoring a trend in the game that has troubled major league officials for more than a decade as the numbers for black Americans in the majors has fallen from 28 percent in the 1970s to under 10 percent in recent years.
“This is not an overnight job,” commissioner Bud Selig said Saturday. “I’m proud of what we have done. … We have all the [urban] academies. They are very productive. I do feel very much that we are on the right track. So, no, I am not disappointed.”
Farrell left reliever Brandon Workman in to hit against Cards closer Trevor Rosenthal with one out in the ninth inning of a 4-4 game because he anticipated the possibility of extra innings and needed Workman to pitch the bottom of the ninth, he said. “In hindsight, I probably should have double-switched after [Jarrod Saltalamacchia] made the final out the previous inning, with Workman coming into the game,” Farrell said. Workman struck out.
◆ Boston third base coach Brian Butterfield, a candidate for last winter’s Toronto managerial opening and thought by some to be on the Cubs’ radar, has not heard from anybody with the Cubs or on behalf of the Cubs, he said. And sources indicate he’s not the team’s seventh “mystery candidate.”
◆ Despite calls to make the designated hitter uniform for both leagues, Selig said there’s no discussions about such a change going on at the MLB level. But, he said, “I’m never going to say never to anything.”