The great tragedy of Jake Peavy is that while he's a fine pitcher, he too is of that ignoble breed that is hopelessly reliant on his offense to actually score in order to win a game.
Jake's effort on a sweltering Saturday in New York was a mixture of virtuosity and dire mistakes. He struck out a season-high eleven batters, but also made at least three mistakes. He might have made more, but he certainly made at least three, as that was the number of solo home runs were lifted into the right field seats.
Most damningly, Peavy had no answer for former White Sox and fourth outfielder deluxe DeWayne Wise, who was a triple short of the cycle and knocked in half of the Yankees four runs on the day.
One would have done the trick. The White Sox offense--after scoring fourteen runs just the previous night--were never close to New York starter Hiroki Kuroda. After getting runners on the corners with two outs in the 1st inning, Kuroda retired the next 15 batters in a row, and made us all more familiar with the annoying sound drop the Yankees' PA plays after strikeouts than any human should be.
In the bottom of the 5th, Peavy hit Derek Jeter with a pitch, which was quickly followed by retaliation from Hiroki Kuroda on Kevin Youkilis the next inning. All were satisfied that their points were made.
Yankees 4, White Sox 0
Jake Peavy - 8 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, 3 HR, 109 pitches - Peavy agreed to donate $100 for every strikeout in MLB Saturday to pancreatic cancer research in honor of his late bullpen coach. He certainly did his part in that regard.
Hiroki Kuroda - 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 11 K, 107 pitches - Unfortunately, so did Kuroda
Adam Dunn - 0 for 2, 2 BB, 2 K - Two true results
Dayan Viciedo - 0 for 3, 3 K - Emblematic
DeWayne Wise - 3 for 3, HR, 2B, 2 RBI - He was batting ninth Saturday. This was not an especially noble demise.
In the 1st inning, the White Sox got Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko on the corners for red-hot Alex Rios, who struck out on three pitches to end the inning. In the bottom half of the frame, Curtis Granderson lifted a towering fly ball to his favorite part of the park--the second deck of the right field seats.
That was pretty much it for the game as a competitive affair.
Things Would Be Different If...
Kuroda was every bit as nasty as his results would indicate, so it's hard to figure how the results could have changed for the better with a slight tweak of circumstances. The White Sox were dominated, and switching out the depressingly inept-hitting Tyler Flowers for A.J. Pierzynski probably would not have fixed it.
Perhaps if Jake Peavy was allowed to work in his old spacious home of Petco, he would still be working with a 1-0 deficit by the time the Yankees bullpen became a factor.
Four straight games spurning the fine work of Jake Peavy certainly is an irritating trait, but this was the most forgivable instance. Peavy made mistakes to the wrong people and the bats ran into a buzzsaw. For a series that was a huge trouble spot on the schedule, having the opportunity to win the series against Phil Hughes on Sunday is just fine.
Team Record: 42-36, 3 games up at time of posting