Wednesday's Red Sox-Rockies matchups: Jake Peavy vs. Jhoulys Chacin

September 25, 2013 - 6:43 am
Jake Peavy takes the mound for the final time in the regular season against Jhoulys Chacin and the Rockies at Coors Field on Wednesday. Peavy (11-5, 4.02 ERA) went seven innings in Boston'€™s 5-3 loss to the Orioles last Wednesday. He allowed three runs on six hits and one walk while striking out eight in the no-decision. "I felt encouraged once again," said Peavy, after the start. "I felt like my stuff is getting better. I got a little jumpy out of the stretch and gave up some hits and they got back in the ballgame, unfortunately. This is a tough one. We grinded it out. We played hard. Just couldn't get that big hit vs. [Wei-Yin] Chen and break it open. I've got to do a better job of holding that lead." Peavy has provided solid innings for the Red Sox rotation since Boston acquired him in a three-team trade that cost the Sox Jose Iglesias. In nine starts with the Red Sox, Peavy holds a 3.68 ERA and a 1.074 WHIP, an improvement from his numbers in 13 starts with the White Sox earlier in the season (4.28 ERA, 1.138 WHIP). Peavy has not faced the Rockies this season with Chicago or Boston. However, he faced them a number of times as a member of the Padres from 2002 to 2009. Eight years in the NL West meant plenty of opportunities to take the mound in the pitcher'€™s nightmare that is Coors Field. In nine career starts, Peavy has posted a 4.74 ERA and a 1.596 WHIP there. After a disappointing season in 2012, Chacin (14-9, 3.21 ERA) has recovered and put together the best year of his five-year career. Chacin, who averaged a 3.48 ERA in 52 starts in 2010 and 2011, made just 14 starts last season with a 4.43 ERA and an atrocious 1.623 WHIP. Chacin missed nearly four months with a pectoral injury, and when he returned his durability was zapped. In his last six starts, Chacin did not pitch more than five innings once. In that stretch, he pitched less than five innings three times. Overall, only three of his 14 starts have lasted more than five innings. After Wednesday'€™s start, Chacin will achieve a number of career highs. He already set a career high in wins (14), and he'€™s on pace to set career bests in ERA (3.21), innings (193 1/3), and WHIP (1.231). Surprisingly, Chacin'€™s K/9 ratio plummeted this season (5.7) when compared to 2011 (7.0), previously his best year as a starter. So with a large decrease in the number of strikeouts this season, what has led to Chacin significantly improving his ERA and WHIP? Luck can not take the credit; in fact, he enjoyed even more luck in 2011, which reflected in his .261 batting average on balls in play, compared to his .283 figure this year. Simply put, Chacin finally harnessed his control. In 2011, Chacin walked a NL-high 87 batters, good for a 4.0 BB/9 ratio. This season, in almost exactly the same number of innings, Chacin has issued just 59 walks, which translates to a 2.7 BB/9. However, Chacin'€™s control issues have resurfaced lately. Chacin earned a victory against Arizona last Friday despite a sloppy performance. He walked five batters and allowed six hits -- but just two runs -- in six innings, with zero strikeouts. In the start before that, he walked three Diamondbacks in just four innings at Chase Field on Sept. 15. Chacin and the Red Sox matchup for the first time this season, but not the first time in Chacin'€™s career. On June 22, 2010, Boston was flummoxed by the righty at its home ballpark. Chacin shut out the Red Sox over 6 2/3 innings, striking out five, despite issuing five walks. Red Sox vs. Chacin (RHP) Stephen Drew (15): .333/.333/.400, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout Jonny Gomes (7): .200/.429/.800, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Shane Victorino (7): .143/.143/.143 John McDonald (6): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts Daniel Nava (3): .333/.333/.333 Mike Napoli (3): .500/.667/2.000, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 1 walk Dustin Pedroia (3): .000/.667/.000, 2 walks Ryan Lavarnway, David Ross, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt, Will Middlebrooks, Brandon Snyder, Quintin Berry, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mike Carp, Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz have not faced Chacin. Rockies vs. Peavy (RHP) Todd Helton (51): .348/.392/.674, 3 HRs, 6 doubles, 4 RBIs, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts Yorvit Torrealba (31): .241/.267/.483, 2 HRs, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts Troy Tulowitzki (23): .350/.435/.650, 1 HR, 1 triple, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts Michael Cuddyer (12): .364/.333/.545, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs, 1 strikeout Jonathon Herrera (3): .667/.667/.667 Charlie Blackmon (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Carlos Gonzalez (3): .000/.000/.000 Willin Rosario, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Culberson, DJ LeMahieu, Jordan Pacheco, Josh Rutledge, Ryan Wheeler, Corey Dickerson and Dexter Fowler have not faced Peavy.