Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Boston Red Sox [Print without images]

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Peavy's bottom line isn't pretty

By Gordon Edes



SEATTLE -- Manager John Farrell, in contemplating how the Red Sox can make room on the roster for young starters Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa, noted Tuesday this is a bottom-line business. Results, in other words, matter.

Bottom line, Jake Peavy hasn’t been getting the results.

Tuesday’s outcome: The Seattle Mariners routed the Red Sox for the second straight night, 8-2. The Sox are 1-5 on this trip, 9-14 in June, 15-24 on the road. They are 8 ˝ games behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East.

Body by Jake: Sixteen starts into the 2014 season, Peavy has one win. The Sox have lost eight of his last nine starts. He has lost six straight decisions, the longest such streak of his career. After the Mariners took him deep twice Tuesday, he has allowed 16 home runs, tied for most in the American League.

Peavy fights, scratches, cusses and competes. Most nights he has given the Sox a chance. This was only the fifth start he has left with the Sox behind by more than two runs. With a better win-loss record, he would qualify as a perfectly serviceable No. 4 starter.

Jake Peavy
Jake Peavy heads back to the mound as Seattle's Brad Miller scores one of seven runs yielded by Peavy in five innings.
With a 1-6 record and 4.93 ERA, that case becomes tougher to make. Especially after a night in which he was rocked in five innings for seven runs and eight hits, including home runs by Kyle Seager and Mike Zunino. Seattle had scored 13 runs on its recently completed five-game trip. They’ve scored 20 runs in two games against the Sox. Seager’s home run struck the glassed-in Hit It Here Café in the second deck in right field.

Would the Sox contemplate taking Peavy out of the rotation, even temporarily?

“We just ended here about 10 minutes ago,’’ Farrell said. “We’re considering everything available to us. We know by early afternoon a roster move has to be made, we’ll take a look at everything.’’

The Sox have to make a roster move to open a spot for Clay Buchholz, who comes off the disabled list to start here Wednesday night.

Peavy fell behind, 2-0, in the first inning after a leadoff single by Endy Chavez, a walk and a ground ball by Seager that took a bad hop over Mike Napoli’s glove for an RBI double. Logan Morrison’s sacrifice fly accounted for the second run.

Chavez tripled into the right-field corner for a third run in the second inning, but it was a 3-2 game in the fifth when Seager unloaded with two runners aboard for his 11th home run. Two batters later, Zunino cleared the left-field fence with his 10th home run. Seager and Zunino are the only two hitters in the Seattle lineup who have reached double figures in home runs, but that still gives the weak-hitting Mariners one more than the Sox, who have David Ortiz (17) and no one else.

“I settled in [after the first] and felt better,’’ Peavy said. “But I got in trouble and made a bad pitch to Seager. I was trying to be too fine, trying to save every last run you can save, but you try to throw a cutter and overthrow it, and it stays middle in.

“It’s not fun. There’s nothing fun about getting beat, especially when you don’t do your job and get beat. It’s frustrating when you get beat, playing from behind all night.’’

Holt ... and little else: Brock Holt hit a two-run home run in the fourth, his second home run of the season, to account for the Sox runs. Holt also doubled. After scoring seven runs in Oakland Sunday, the Sox have gone dry again. They’ve scored three runs or fewer in 10 of their last 11 games, Sunday’s game the only outlier.

Empty calories: A.J. Pierzynski came to the plate with nine runners on base. None of them scored.

A.J. Pierzynski
A.J. Pierzynski, who stranded nine runners, grounds out with the bases loaded to end the top of the first.
He came up in the first inning with the bases loaded, Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez having issued three walks. Pierzynski swung at the first pitch and grounded to second to end the inning. He came to the plate with runners on first and second in the third and flied to right for the third out. He chased an off-speed pitch off the plate to strike out with runners on first and second with one out in the fifth. And first-pitch swinging again, he popped out in foul territory with runners on the corners with one out in the seventh.

“Look, I know I haven’t hit the way I know I can hit and somebody’s going to pay,’’ said Pierzynski, 1-for-18 on the trip and an overall slash line of .250/.280/.357/.637. “Hopefully it starts tomorrow, but I know we have better hitters than we put out there and I believe these guys are going to get going.’’

Pierzynski saw nine pitches in his four at-bats and has seen 44 in 20 plate appearances on the trip.

“We know A.J.’s an aggressive hitter,’’ Farrell said. “We kind of live and die with aggressiveness in his case. When he’s hot, it’s very productive.’’

Pierzynski said that in the first, he got exactly the pitch he was looking for, in the location he wanted it, from Ramirez, a changeup down and in.

“I was 100 percent sure he was going to throw me a changeup,’’ he said. “I was 100 percent looking for it. He threw it where I wanted it. It just didn’t work out. Next time, I’ll take my chances again and I’ll get it next time.

“If I take a better swing at that pitch and hit it up the middle and there’s two runs on the board, you guys [reporters] are like, ‘Wow, good hitting.’ I’m not playing that game anymore. I’m going to play the game the way I’ve played it the last 15 years and not listen to what other people say.’’

Pierzynski’s on-base percentage dropped below .300 for the first time last season, when he posted an OBP of .297 with the Rangers. Pierzynski (.280) and fellow catcher David Ross (.237) have the lowest OBPs of anyone on the team with 50 or more at-bats.

Drew still dragging: Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew went 0-for-3 and is now hitless in his last 23 at-bats.

A good night for JBJ: Rookie center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. had two line-drive singles and made a leaping catch at the center-field fence of Logan Morrison’s drive to end the seventh.

Doubie in relief: Felix Doubront, sent to the bullpen for the next two series, pitched two scoreless innings.