BOSTON — Jake Peavy has lived on the edge this season.
Peavy, who is no stranger to walking a tightrope, weaved his way in and out of trouble Saturday en route to a no-decision in the Red Sox’s 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park. It was an effort that, in many ways, symbolized the frustrating campaign the right-hander is navigating through.
Peavy allowed just one earned run on seven hits and two walks over six innings Saturday. He exited with Boston leading 2-1, putting him in line to earn his first win since April 25 and just his second victory all season. The Red Sox couldn’t hold the lead, though, and Peavy again walked away with a realization that he and his teammates simply didn’t do enough.
“You just try to do what you can do to win,” Peavy said after the game. “Obviously it’s been tough to score on my day. That’s something that I’m not going to shy away from. I’m not blaming anybody. I’ve got to be better, and the guys have got to be better on my day to find a way to win. It’s frustrating, there’s no doubt. At the end of the day, it’s frustrating to lose.”
Saturday’s box score doesn’t tell the whole story. Peavy’s outing was a grind from start to finish. He escaped a second-and-third situation in the second inning, and then wiggled his way out of a pair of bases-loaded jams in the fourth and fifth innings. A couple of timely hits could have turned Peavy’s decent start into a nightmarish effort, but, to his credit, he made pitches when he needed to and lived to tell about his all-too-familiar brush with danger.
“Anytime you face eight left-handed batters in a lineup, it’s going to be a grind,” Peavy said. “A lot of good hitters, a lot of professional at-bats over there. It was a lot of what we expected going in — a grind.”
While Peavy put himself into a position to finally earn his elusive second victory, the Red Sox’s typically reliable bullpen couldn’t nail down the win. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski dropped a throw to the plate in the seventh inning that allowed the Indians to tie the game, and Junichi Tazawa followed Craig Breslow’s struggles with a bases-loaded walk that involved three borderline pitches.
“(Peavy) made pitches. He only gave up one run, a bunch of hits, but when they had runners on, he didn’t give in and he battled,” said Pierzynski, who shouldered the blame following Saturday’s loss. “Like I said, he deserved to win.”
Peavy’s season has been a mixed bag. He entered Saturday’s contest amid a tough stretch in which he allowed five or more runs in four of his last six starts. He allowed three home runs in a losing effort in his previous start Monday against the Baltimore Orioles. There was no telling what to expect from the veteran — especially when you consider the early season success that preceded his recent skid — but it’s clear that things just haven’t gone the 33-year-old’s way.
When Peavy has pitched well enough to win, the offense hasn’t shown up. And when he has struggled, there seemingly has been one or two key moments with the game that have impacted his overall performance for the worse. It hasn’t been a winning formula.
“Wins and losses are all that matter,” Peavy said after Saturday’s game. “And we lost, so obviously it was a disappointment.”