Peavy: 'No excuses. It's on me'

Peavy: 'No excuses. It's on me'
October 17, 2013, 2:30 am
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DETROIT – When the Red Sox acquired right-hander Jake Peavy just before the trading deadline in July in a three-team deal that cost them defensive whiz Jose Iglesias, general manager Ben Cherington said he was excited to add “a proven major league starter” who had had “a ton of success in his career” who could help the team get into the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
 
Peavy did that, going 4-1, with a 4.04 ERA, in 10 starts for the Sox.
 
Still, his start in Game 4 of the ALCS Wednesday night against the Tigers at Comerica Park was not what they had in mind from the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner and three-time All-Star. Peavy lasted just three innings, plus two batters in the fourth, giving up seven runs on five hits and three walks with one strikeout.
 
“Bad game all around,” Peavy said. “I do know that we’re going to come back and play better than this.”
 
The seven runs are the fourth-highest single-game total for any Sox pitcher in postseason history, tied with Time Wakefield in Game 3 of the 1995 ALDS, Jim Lonborg (Game 7, 1967 World Series), and Cy Young (Game 1, 1903 World Series).  The team postseason record of eight runs is held by Josh Beckett (Game 2, 2008 ALCS), Matt Clement (Game 1, 2005 ALDS), and Roger Clemens (Game 1, 1986 ALCS).
 
This was the shortest of Peavy’s four career postseason starts. His longest has been just 5 2/3 innings, against the Rays in clinching Game 4 of the ALDS. The seven runs allowed are one shy of his career postseason high in the 2005 NLDS against the Cardinals. He has a career postseason ERA of 10.31, giving up 21 earned runs in 18 1/3 innings over four outings. In two postseason outings with the Red Sox, his ERA is 8.30, giving up eight earned runs in 8 2/3 innings.
 
“It’s tough when you feel like you let the boys down,” Peavy said. “I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth. I just couldn’t make the big pitch to minimize the damage."

Peavy’s outing started off well enough. He needed just 12 pitches to get through the first inning, retiring Torii Hunter on a groundout to third baseman Will Middlebrooks, striking out Miguel Cabrera looking at a slider, and getting Prince Fielder to ground out to Middlebrooks.
 
Peavy had trouble commanding his fastball, reverting to heavy dose of off-speed pitches. He came undone in the second, when the Tigers batted around, scoring five runs.  Peavy needed 31 pitches to get through the inning.  He allowed three walks in the inning, including a bases-loaded, one-out, four-pitch walk to Austin Jackson, who has struggled through most of the postseason. With two outs, he gave up consecutive hits, including a two-run double to Hunter and an RBI single to Miguel Cabrera, before getting Fielder to ground out ending the inning.
 
“You face an aggressive swinging team like that, you can’t leave too many pitches over the plate, especially off-speed stuff,” said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. “I feel like they don’t miss those pitches. You can get away with fastballs every once in a while but those off-speed pitches you can’t leave them over the middle. You got to execute a little better. We had a great game plan going into it, just maybe a little too excited and over throwing a little bit. But tuff was there, just left it over the plate too much.”
 
Jackson entered the game batting .091 in the postseason, going 3-for-33 with 18 strikeouts, one RBI, two walks, no stolen bases, and a run scored.  He reached base in both plate appearances against Peavy with a walk, a single. He drove in two, scored a run and a stole a base.
 
“Got to make him swing the bat,” Peavy said of the four-pitch walk to Jackson in the second. “And just couldn’t do that.”
 
Peavy appeared to collect himself, getting through the third in order on eight pitches. But, he gave up a leadoff ground-rule double to Omar Infante in the fourth and a run-scoring single to Jackson, ending Peavy’s outing.
 
Of the 17 batters he faced, seven scored.
 
“I thought he was crisp in the first inning, and in the second inning looked like he pitched a little too fine,” manager John Farrell said. “Obviously the pitching behind the count, issued three walks. They bunched some hits. Obviously the big one, Torii Hunter's. Even after that we walk in the two runs. [Jose Iglesias] hits a hard hit ball to second base that looked like it handcuffed [Dustin Pedroia] a little bit. And instead of being out of it with just two runs, then the base hitting behind it, and they put five on the board in that second inning.”
 
The Sox had a chance to get out of the second with minimal damage. But  Pedroia had trouble handling Jose Iglesias potential double play grounder. Although, the Sox were able to get one out, on a force at second, thanks to a generous call by umpire Dan Iassogna when Pedroia flipped to shortstop Stephen Drew, who was in the vicinity of second base.
 
“We dug ourselves a hole,” Peavy said. “We had our chances to get out of that inning and minimize the damage. … That’s a tough play. Pedey, that’s not on him. I’ve got to do a better job.
 
“No excuses," Peavy said. "It’s on me. I can promise you we’ll be back tomorrow as a ballclub, ready to go.”