BOSTON -- Jake Peavy can’t be blamed for lacking perspective. If his team has lost, he's not going to dwell on anything positive. The defeat takes precedence.
“It's frustrating losing,” he said. “You don't wanna lose. When you made the mistake to cost your team a chance to win, it hurts.”
But even though the Red Sox' 2-0 loss to the Cubs landed on his shoulders after he allowed a two-out, two-run homer to right fielder Nate Schierholtz in the fourth inning, Peavy was willing to admit that Monday’s start represented progress.
It was his second quality start of the month, and a strong rebound after a bumpy 10-game road trip. In his two starts while away from Fenway, he pitched 11.1 innings and allowed 11 runs (10 earned).
Back in Boston, he was much improved.
“I felt good,” Peavy said. “I think it showed. Velocity was back to where it normally was. Had a good game plan. Was able to execute, throw the ball to the glove for the better part of the game.”
Peavy’s fastball hovered in the low 90s and he also used his cutter and changeup with great effectiveness. Catcher David Ross explained that it was Peavy’s bread-and-butter -- his fastball -- that made him tough to handle against the Cubs.
He struck out seven in the game and walked two.
“I just liked his fastball location in and out was really, really good,” Ross said. “He pumped a lot of heaters, a lot more than he has, and I think that was probably the difference in his performance today.”
Farrell thought the battery combination of Peavy and Ross worked well on Monday, though he wouldn’t commit to keeping the pair together for future starts.
The main reason Ross caught Peavy was that AJ Pierzynski caught Sunday's win at Yankee Stadium on Sunday Night Baseball, and then the Red Sox arrived in Boston at 4 a.m. on Monday.
“I thought [Peavy] and Rossy worked well together where they had a good assortment and a very good pitch mix,” Farrell said. “You look back, it's a two-pitch sequence where there's a 3-2 fastball that's seemingly on the plate, doesn't get a call, next pitch is out of the bullpen for the difference in this one tonight. Jake has pitched in a number of very good games for us with not much to show for it, but he was very good tonight.”
Whether or not Peavy has earned a decision, the Red Sox have dropped eight of his last nine starts. In those starts, though, the blame can't solely fall on Peavy.
In his last five outings, the team has scored a total of nine runs. Even a quality start on Monday -- by definition, six innings pitched and three runs or less allowed -- wasn't enough for a positive result in a game pitched by Peavy.
"Quality starts most of the time around here, you'll take it and it's plenty good enough to win for years now in this uniform," Peavy said. "Just one of those years, those quality starts have been matching up on days we haven't scored a whole lot and your record doesn't look so hot."
Though it has let him down, Peavy refused to show any lack of faith in his offense.
"You just go out and try to keep your team, give your team the best chance that you can give them on that night to win, and I gotta do a better job of that," Peavy said. "This is gonna change. This isn't gonna keep happening. I promise you, I've got my head down and just working.
"It'll change. There's gonna be games where we score five, six, seven runs on the day I start. I'm not gonna give in and believe this is how it's gonna be for the remaining 16, 17 other starts."
Peavy explained that his teammates weren't only up against a very hot pitcher in Jake Arrieta, they also had to deal with the travel that has accompanied the team's recent schedule.
"We're gonna show back up tomorrow and be ready to go," Peavy said. "It was a late night for the guys. This travel that we've had has been insane ridiculous. You have nights like tonight. Good pitching, us a little bit tired, under the weather. We'll be back tomorrow."