Peavy, Sox's staff prove to be unflappable
MINNEAPOLIS -- With their 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday afternoon, the White Sox completed a stretch of 19 games in 20 days. Sixteen of those games were on the road, with the only three at home coming in a sweep of the Twins last week at U.S. Cellular Field.
That Chicago managed to go 10-9 in the stretch, rebounding from a five-game losing streak to take seven of the past nine contests, struck manager Robin Ventura as a sign of the team's resiliency. That resiliency has been most notably displayed by the White Sox's starting rotation.
The team used eight different starters in those 19 games, trading their July 18 starter (Pedro Hernandez) for their July 30 starter (Francisco Liriano) last weekend. They gave left-hander Chris Sale a break from the rotation with a dead arm, and scheduled season-ending surgery for right-hander John Danks. But the staff soldiered on, heading into a day off with an eight-inning performance from Jake Peavy on Wednesday.
For the first time since the White Sox sent four players to San Diego in a trade for him in 2009, Peavy is on track to pitch a full season. He won his ninth game on Wednesday, lowered his ERA to 3.04 and threw 114 pitches, his lowest total in a start since throwing 109 on June 30.
If Chicago's staff has been resilient, the one setting the tone might be Peavy.
"I feel excited to be able to help up to this point," Peavy said. "It will be a satisfying season for everybody in this clubhouse if we find a way to win the (AL) Central. But it does feel gratifying to be healthy for the team, like I've wanted to be the whole time."
Once Sale returns, the White Sox will have to decide where to put Phillip Humber or Gavin Floyd -- a six-man rotation is possible -- but they have as much starting pitching depth as almost any team in the American League after trading for Liriano. Time will tell if the team's young pitchers will hold up, but there are worse ways to head into the final two months of the season than with a three-game division lead and six serviceable starters.
"It's not easy to go out on the road against some tough teams," Ventura said. "We held our own -- a little over .500. It's time to go home and win some games."