Once again, Jake Peavy managed to overrule Ozzie Guillen's initial instinct by talking his way into the seventh inning during Monday night's loss to the Yankees.
Out of all the times it's happened, this one is probably the least objectionable.
I'm as much of a stop-making-the-same-mistakes guy as anybody, but I thought the attention Peavy received for his struggles after 75 pitches were a little overblown. I had the YES Network broadcast on here, and even Michael Kay and John Flaherty raised the issue several times over the course of the game. Worth keeping an eye on? Certainly. Worth altering strategy for? Not really, especially when 1) (re)building his strength is a priority, and 2) he's not the only Sox pitcher to struggle in the sixth inning.
Hopefully that's what happened on Monday.
I put on my stop-making-the-same-mistakes pants when cameras showed Peavy pleading with Guillen for another inning, because he was at 101 pitches through six innings. That's a healthy workload for anybody, but especially for a guy who hasn't shown an ability to maintain his stuff from start to start.
Then again, his problems stem from sudden increases in pitch count. There's been no slow-and-steady with Peavy during his Sox career. He's the guy who makes a New Year's resolution to get in shape, starts with the weights used he used to lift when he played football 20 years ago, spends the next week walking like a hospital patient, and never goes again.
But this time, he's coming off six innings of 111 pitches, including about 20 or so when he obviously had nothing and admitted as such. He threw fewer pitches per inning, and far fewer pitches over the second half of his start, which he might have to compensate his mechanics to maintain his stuff.
The early returns are positive:
"Tonight I tried to pace myself and felt a little bit better going deeper into the ballgame, and that’s a great sign," Peavy said. "I’m excited about it. I didn’t pitch as well as I can pitch tonight, but I had pretty good stuff. A lot of guys will take that on any given night it’s just not going to get you many wins when you’re going against CC Sabathia and the Yankees."
We'll see what happens on Saturday against Minnesota, but of all the times Peavy has pulled his Jedi Mind Trick on his bosses, this one might be the one time that it actually benefits everybody. Let's hope we can actually enjoy this one.