If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.
It often feels that way when Jake Peavy takes the mound nowadays, as a similar plotline typically plays out en route to a Boston Red Sox loss. Tuesday’s start against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre was no different in that regard despite the Red Sox carrying a ton of offensive momentum into the contest.
The Red Sox didn’t produce a single run over the 6 1/3 innings that Peavy remained in Tuesday’s game. The result was a 7-3 loss that dropped Peavy’s record to 1-9. It’s been almost three months since Peavy has tasted victory.
“It’s frustrating to lose,” Peavy said when asked for seemingly the one millionth time this season about Boston’s lack of run support. “I’m so sick that I’m sitting here (after a loss). I’m sorry to have not the best attitude in the world. I try, I promise you, I try. But run support or no run support, it’s not fun to lose. The only way I know how to stop that from happening is for me to get better. … Frustrating.”
The Red Sox’s offense had several scoring chances but failed to cash in. It has become an all-too-familiar sight with Peavy on the hill, as the Red Sox have averaged just 2.76 runs of support for the veteran right-hander — the lowest mark among qualifying American League pitchers by a fairly wide margin.
“That’s the frustrating part,” Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “He’s pitched good and we haven’t scored runs for him. That’s the bottom line. But he’s kept us in every game and competed. And that’s what he does. He’s a bulldog out there.”
Peavy certainly competed Tuesday in what was a microcosm of his entire season. He held the Blue Jays mostly in check over the first five innings — making a few key pitches in the process — before imploding in the sixth inning. Long balls again were the issue, as Jose Reyes and Dioner Navarro went deep in a three-run sixth that gave Toronto some breathing room.
“Just trying to be too fine and overthrowing balls and not throwing them where they need to be,” Peavy said. “Probably at the end of the day, looking back, it was not smart to just keep trying to go away there. I had to come (inside) at some point in time. That’s about it.”
Peavy has surrendered an AL-high 20 homers this season. That includes giving up at least one blast in 16 of his 20 starts. Peavy often has been victimized by one or two mislocated pitches, and it’s proven disastrous given the incredibly small margin for error whenever he has pitched.
“That’s no excuse,” Peavy said of any added pressure he faces with little run support. “I’m not going to sit here and make excuses or nothing like that. I certainly know the type of games that I’ve been in. I’ve been in them my whole career. I’ve got to be better. That’s all there is to it.”
Peavy, who was charged with five earned runs on eight hits, has handled his maddening season — which also has included trade rumors — with the utmost class and professionalism. It’s hard not to feel for the guy, especially when the Red Sox precede a stinker like Tuesday’s loss with an offensive barrage like Monday’s win.
The worst part? It’s probably going to happen again in five days.
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