Jake Peavy came into Boston chomping at the bit for his chance to pitch for the Red Sox, but many were not sure if the former Cy Young winner would take the mound Saturday with stuff similar to what earned him the coveted pitching award in 2007. Those doubts were erased Saturday night when Peavy delivered a dominating performance in his Boston debut.
The 32-year-old had Diamondback hitters guessing all night, utilizing an array of off-speed pitches to fan seven Arizona batters over seven innings of work. Peavy was in control, allowing only two earned runs on four hits and ultimately earning the win.
“Outstanding debut for us. A number of swing and misses with three different pitches,” manager John Farrell said. “He was efficient, as advertised. Strong competitor that made a couple of big pitches when he needed to. Just an outstanding effort on his part.”
Even though Peavy has been in the league for more than 10 years, he said he was nervous when taking the mound for the first time in a Red Sox uniform.
“I had some nerves, but I think experience helps you when you know you can’t win the ballgame in those first few innings, so you got to stay under control and stick with the game plan,” Peavy said.
Peavy did just that, battling into the seventh inning of a low-scoring game and giving the Red Sox another opportunity to pull out another victory late in the game. If Peavy’s performance proves anything, it is that the move to send Jose Iglesias to the Detroit Tigers isn’t as detrimental as some thought. Granted, Iglesias provided a sure glove on the left side of the infield to go along with a surprisingly hot bat, but the Red Sox have consistently had the best offense in baseball all season, and their need for pitching depth outweighed the desire for holding on to one bat.
With Clay Buchholz‘s return up in the air, Red Sox faithful can relax, knowing their team landed a quality arm without giving up significant offensive firepower. And if Buchholz does return to his early-season dominant form, the Sox will be sporting one of the deepest starting rotations when they head into the home stretch of the season. Buchholz, Peavy, John Lackey, Jon Lester and Ryan Dempster, coupled with one of the best offenses in the game and a dominant closer in Koji Uehara, seems to be a perfect recipe for another deep postseason run.
Even though Peavy has made more than 300 career starts and is certain to make many more this season, he said the ovation he received from the Fenway crowd will be something he’ll remember for the rest of his life. If Peavy can string together more performances like Saturday’s debut, he’ll have plenty more ovations to choose from.