Jake Peavy’s promising (if not taxing) start wasted by Red Sox bats, bullpen

June 15, 2014 - 4:09 am

On most occasions, allowing 11 men to reach base in an outing would spell doom for any starting pitcher. That was not the case for Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy Saturday, who battled and maneuvered his way through six high-pressure innings against the Indians, churning out his best start in over a month. And yet, in a cruel twist of fate that only a game as unpredictable as baseball can produce, Boston'€™s normally lockdown bullpen, coupled with an anemic lineup, ultimately could not help deliver Peavy his second win of the season, as the Red Sox fell to the Indians, 3-2, snapping their abrupt two-game winning streak. It was a disheartening affair for Peavy, as the former Cy Young Award winner labored through two separate bases-loaded situations while stranding seven Cleveland runners in scoring position, only to ultimately come up short. "€œWins and losses are all that matter, and we lost," Peavy said after the game. "€œObviously, there'€™s disappointment." Scanning through most of Peavy'€™s final stat line was certainly not easy on the eyes:  six innings pitched, seven hits, two walks, two hit batters. However, what mattered most was just one earned run allowed - a mark that Peavy has not been able to do since April 25 against the Blue Jays. "I thought Jake did a great job with making a number of big pitches with men on, men in scoring position," said Red Sox manager John Farrell after the game. "€œThere were opportunities on both sides that came up empty. You can credit good pitching on both sides to make a key pitch. Jake gave us a quality start." While Peavy (1-4, 4.53 ERA) has struggled to find his bearings for most of the 2014 campaign, the Mobile, Ala., native has excelled in navigating through danger in his outings. Batters are hitting just .189 (7-for-37) against Peavy with two outs and runners in scoring position this season. Peavy, who posted an unsightly 6.69 ERA in his previous six starts, ultimately left the game in line for the victory, as the Red Sox scored in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead, 2-1. Unfortunately, it wasn'€™t meant to be for Peavy, as Red Sox relievers Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa allowed a combined two runs off of three hits and two walks over 1 2/3 innings, giving the Indians a 3-2 lead that they would never relinquish. "€œHe was great. He deserved to win," said Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski. "He fought and battled for six innings. ... He left with the lead. We had a chance to shut them down and we didn'€™t do it." It likely came as no surprise that the Red Sox were not able to plate runners during Peavy'€™s start, as it'€™s been a recurrent trend all season. Coming into today'€™s game, the Sox lineup has only averaged 3.21 runs of support in Peavy'€™s outings - the second-lowest rate among qualified American League pitchers behind Baltimore'€™s Ubaldo Jimenez (2.61). It was tough for Peavy to mask his frustration following the game. "You just try to do what you can do to win," Peavy said. "Obviously, it'€™s been tough scoring on my day. ... I'€™m not blaming anybody. I got to be better. My guys have got to be better on my day to find a way to win. It'€™s frustrating, there'€™s no doubt." Peavy wasn'€™t perfect, but the 33-year-old righty did just enough to help his team come away with a victory on Saturday. Unfortunately, it just wasn'€™t in the cards. "While I was in the game, we played team baseball: So many good plays, everybody was in the right position playing hard," Peavy said. "It just wasn'€™t meant to be today."