Jake Peavy has already played out the image of how his first start in a Red Sox uniform will go this Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He knows the first impression he’ll give off in his new surroundings will be of a high-strung, mound-circling, emotionally-charged, seemingly maniacal pitcher yelling at himself after every pitch.
That, he says, is just the way he works.
“As emotional as you guys think I am, there’ll be so much going on between the ears in that 15 seconds that you get the ball back,” Peavy said. “What happened on that pitch? What will be the next pitch? Situation of the game. Score. The inning. What has this guy done his last at-bat? All that stuff will be going on Saturday and you guys will see me out there screaming and yelling at times.”
Peavy arrived in Boston Wednesday night, a day after the Red Sox weaved a three-team deal with the White Sox and Tigers to add the 32-year-old righthander as they load up for a pennant race.
The chance to pitch in high-intensity, high-magnitude games in the season’s late stages is what enticed Peavy, who’s only pitched in two postseason games in his 12 major league seasons.
“The opportunity that I’ve been given, I couldn’t have asked for anything more than to come to a team who’s now obviously in first place with a realistic chance this year of being a world champion, which is why we all play the game,” Peavy said. “To have a chance to compete in the postseason would be a dream come true. That’s something that I know a lot of other guys in there expect and I expect to do it and to be a contributing factor here going forward.”
After dealing with injuries to his ankle in 2009 and his lat in 2010, Peavy felt strong last season when he threw 219 innings in 32 starts. He said he felt even better going into this season until fractured ribs forced him to sit for six weeks.
“It was kind of a freakish thing but I had to miss almost six weeks,” Peavy said. “It was painful. It was miserable. Over the past few years when I had my ankle injury and then the lat injury, once you get labeled you’re ‘hurt,’ you fight that.
“So last year meant the world to me to throw 220 innings. Then to get off to a good start this year and then miss time for something you really feel like is non-baseball related – broken ribs, something you really couldn’t pinpoint what happened – that was tough. But I’m as healthy as I can be now.”
He’s pitched twice since he returned from the disabled list, most recently striking out seven in as many innings against the Detroit Tigers.
“Still working my way back pitch-count-wise,” said Peavy, who threw 118 against the Tigers. “But I expect nothing more than to throw 100 or so pitches Saturday and win.”