CHICAGO -- With a budding flu virus, his own batty vision and a murky game plan for an unknown opponent all conspiring against him, Chicago White Sox starter Jake Peavy still managed to get the job done Saturday night in impressive fashion.
The 14th complete game of his career in the White Sox’s 2-1 victory over the Miami Marlins took on a bittersweet air once Peavy lost his shutout with two outs to go in the game.
Peavy ended up going all nine innings, by allowing six hits with a pair of walks and five strikeouts, and looked emotionally and physically drained afterward. A scratchy voice hinted at his flu bug.
So what was it like to lose a shutout so close to the finish line?
“I’m not really sure what I was feeling to be honest with you,” Peavy said. “I don’t know if I was even there; I was blacked out at that point.
“We always talk about keeping your composure, and I didn’t do a very good job of it there. I just didn’t execute the pitch. It was the right pitch, I will say that; but I was not really close in executing it the way it needed to be.”
Peavy figured a backdoor slider on the left-handed hitter Dietrich would do the job; it was just the location that didn’t work.
“The kid is special,” Peavy said about Dietrich. “He hit a big homer for his team. For us to come back and win there in the 10th, it was special. That’s the White Sox way. Nothing is easy around here, is it?”
Even after the game, Peavy was still a little out of it. The White Sox didn’t win it in the 10th, of course, but in the ninth inning.
Not used to working with catcher Hector Gimenez, Peavy had a tough time. His vision isn’t always the best, especially during night games, so he had a hard time reading Gimenez’s signs and getting on the same page with his catcher.
He still was mowing down Marlins batters, though, on a night when five of the six hits he allowed were by left-handed batters. He started strong by retiring 11 of the first 13 batters he faced.
“He knows how to go through lineups, and he does a great job of getting the game plan together,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He has stuff and can locate, but he always comes up with a pretty good game plan.”
The reality was that the game plan is what worried Peavy the most, since he was facing a number of young hitters who were unknown and didn’t have much of a scouting report to follow, either.
“You come up with a game plan; you try to use your experience and their youth to a little bit of an advantage. But at the same time, talent is talent,” Peavy said.
“I felt like we did a nice job game-planning. [Dylan Axelrod] has been down there [planning strategy] with me, as well. Me and him, being back-to-back two right-handers we are able to watch. Two eyes are better than one and I look for a big effort out of him [Sunday], as well.”
Peavy has now won five of his past six decisions as the White Sox’s starting staff has continued to impress. The starters have a 2.83 ERA and 23 quality starts during the past 33 games. The only game the White Sox have lost on the homestand was the one that Chris Sale missed because of soreness in his shoulder.
“You hope to win those if you go nine [innings] and give up one [run],” Peavy said. “I was excited that we found a way as a team to get it done. It would have been tough to go home on that. It worked out in our favor. Hopefully it will give us some momentum.”