For most of his White Sox career, Jake Peavy has talked a better game than he's pitched. Much of that is due to the fact that he hasn't been able to pitch in many games.
But even though Peavy has just emerged from a detached-lat-induced state of idleness, that hasn't stopped him from raising the bar with his mouth. He couldn't get excited about his first start, and was disappointed that Ozzie Guillen didn't let him work deeper into the game. Then he suggested that the six-man rotation would allow him and his colleagues to carry more of the load, and said that an extra day of rest would be no excuse for poor performance.
All from a guy who had pitched six innings over the last five baseball months. He's basically been a human "No Fear" t-shirt.
I kid, of course. Peavy has high standards and wants everybody to share them, and it seems like he's a good fit for a roster whose intensity level could often best be described as "boilerplate."
At the same time, he was eventually going to have to start performing in order to give his words weight. Talking with WGN Radio's Rob Hart on Saturday, I said that he would at least have to blend in with his pitching in order to stand out with his words.
So much for that. On Wednesday, Peavy finally provided reason to believe in the Chicago branch of Pastor Jake's Megachurch.
Over a span of 121 minutes, Peavy:
*Delivered the finest performance of the season, a three-hit shutout of the American League's scoringest team.
*Defeated Justin Masterson, a pitcher who is essentially designed to defeat the White Sox.
*Accomplished the above with an offense that gave him one professional inning before tripping over itself the rest of the way.
It's one thing for Peavy to simply tell his teammates to do more with less. It's another thing to actually see him do the most with the least. I'm not saying there will be a carryover into Gavin Floyd's start today, but I think it starts to restore order to who should be accountable.
The White Sox have spent a majority of the time waiting for Peavy over his two half-seasons and one full one in the organization. Now, even though nobody knows how long it will last, Peavy is officially here. It's time for everybody around him to make the most of it.