Peavy 'blessed' to be part of winning atmosphere
Right-hander limits Rays to one run in solid 5 2/3-innings performance
ST. PETERSBURG -- Among all the euphoria and champagne celebrating the Red Sox's 3-1 victory over the Rays in Game 4 of the American League Division Series, reliever Craig Breslow said it would be a shame if starter Jake Peavy's efforts were overlooked.
"He was in total control, dominated at-bats. Got ahead, was unbelievably efficient," Breslow said of Peavy, who he replaced to face James Loney in the sixth inning. "Probably had a chance to go very deep in that game. Really important for him to match zeros with kind of the army of guys that they were running out on the other side.
"Jake's been a big-game pitcher his whole career. Emotionally driven. We knew we were going to get everything he had, and he probably had some more."
Peavy, who allowed just one run over 5 2/3 innings, was acquired from the White Sox in July for games like this, and the right-hander delivered. Making his first postseason appearance since 2006, Peavy got a no-decision, but he was a huge factor in Boston's win, allowing just five hits and giving the offense a chance to rally.
"I thought Jake did a hell of a job for us," said manager John Farrell, who called on Breslow after Tampa Bay scored a run on David DeJesus' single. "He had good stuff. Stayed out of the middle of the plate for the most part. Normally that's a game you continue to let him go, but Loney's had such good success against him. It was going to be a low-scoring game, felt like we needed to get a left-hander in there against Loney."
Peavy certainly understood the move.
"You got to play the percentages. I know James has got good numbers against me," said Peavy, addressing reporters in between sips of champagne. "I certainly didn't want to come out of that game -- not any part of me. But you do what you are told, and obviously it was the right move."
Peavy, who entered the game 0-2 with a 12.10 ERA in a pair of playoff starts while with the Padres, said he felt strong in his first start in 13 days, and it showed early on as he retired the first seven batters. Peavy kept the Rays in check all evening and extended his undefeated mark at Tropicana Field to four starts in the process.
"He was pumping in pretty hard," catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "There were some curveballs -- I'm used to the slower one, and he was a little pumped up, so he was bringing it a little harder than I was expecting. Really not missing over the plate. He was keeping the ball down, both sides of the plate, just competing, battling."
And it proved plenty in the end, with Peavy front and center in the scrum that followed the last out, as the well-liked righty tried to put the midseason trade into words.
"It's called winning," Peavy said. "It's a great move. I loved everything about Chicago, but unfortunately the situation there, to get traded to a group of guys where I feel like a family with over such a short period of time, I'm honored. I feel very blessed."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.