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Essential Empy

Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Peavy”

Give Up the Ghost

Junichi Tazawa surrendered the lead in the seventh inning of last night’s game and Ben Cherington waved the white flag today. Jake Peavy was sent to the San Francisco Giants for a pair of pitching prospects: right-handed Heath Hembree and southpaw Edwin Escobar. Hembree is ranked as the Giants’ seventh best prospect by Baseball America and Escobar is second on the list. Escobar struggled in the Pacific Coast League, a circuit notorious for inflating hitters’ capabilities and destroying pitchers’ psyches. Escobar is from Venezuela and related to major leaguers Kelvim and Alcides. It was in San Francisco that Peavy bought a tobacco store Indian statue last year. “The Chief” was a good luck charm for the rest of the season and got a ride in the duck boat that Peavy purchased after the World Series parade. Perhaps “Charlie River” will be re-christened as “McCovey’s Duckie.” When Peavy was traded to the Red Sox from the White Sox at the trade deadline last year he was immediately embraced by his teammates and fans. He was amazed to have his name be in the same list of the legends who played at Fenway. We know that wins are not the best indicator...

Getting Peeved

This vendor has what the Red Sox needed: balance. One night they win in a rout (7-for-13 with runners in scoring position) and the next evening they go 1-for-9 in such situations. Jake Peavy had zero margin of error to work with and forced a throw in the third inning. Anthony Gose worked a walk with one man down and then swiped second base with Jose Reyes at the dish. Reyes popped out to Pedroia so Peavy only had to get Melky Cabrera out to end the frame. Cabrera knocked the ball back at Peavy so hard it ricocheted off of the pitcher to foul territory. Peavy dashed after the ball and tried to force the ball into Mike Napoli’s glove. The ball got by Napoli and Gose scored. Cabrera pushed his luck by trying to get to second base and was tagged by Stephen Drew. David Ortiz and Drew continued their respective power surges with circuit clouts but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Blue Jays’ late-game outburst. This loss combined with the Rays’ victory against the Cardinals put the Red Sox back in last place. At this point the Red Sox should trade Peavy so that he can...

Close Shave

Jake Peavy had a “W” shaved into the back of his head. He went 6 innings with a line of 7 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts. He was the pitcher of record when Jonny Gomes hustled down the first base line to avoid a double play, plated Dustin Pedroia, and gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead. Craig Breslow toed the rubber in the seventh frame. Asdrubal Cabrera led off the inning with a sharp grounder to Jonathan Herrera. The shortstop’s throw was in time but it popped out of Mike Napoli’s glove. Mike Brantley followed with a single to right, where Brock Holt made yet another positional debut. Cabrera alertly dashed to third base on the hit. Jason Kipnis knocked the ball to Pedroia who went home instead of to first. The ball was there in time but A.J. Pierzynski didn’t catch it. Breslow got Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Swisher out but then walked David Murphy. Junichi Tazawa took over but then surrendered a base on balls to Carlos Santana to force in the go-ahead run. It’s another loss where the Red Sox have to take a good look at themselves in the mirror. What...

Three’s a Crowd

The Red Sox managed a mere three hits against Bud Norris. Brock Holt led off the game with a single but was caught stealing. The visitors didn’t get on base again until Daniel Nava doubled with two down in the fifth. David Ross also laced a double with one out but in the eighth inning. Norris only surrendered three walks, none of them coinciding with the hits. Jonathan Herrera and Holt walked in the sixth inning. Nava worked the count full and elicited a base on balls in the seventh. On the other side of the ball Jake Peavy relinquished three home runs. Orioles fans have souvenirs from Jones, Nick Markakis, and Ryan Flaherty. Yes, Flaherty of the .327 slugging percentage. Three players, Nava, Mike Napoli, and Dustin Pedroia converged on Adam Jones’s fourth-inning bloop but none reached it before it touched turf. The ball plummeted like the Red Sox’s playoff hopes. Game 63: June 9, 2014 Boston Red Sox28-35 0 L: Jake Peavy (1-4) 2B: Daniel Nava (3), David Ross (5) Baltimore Orioles32-30 4 W: Bud Norris (5-5) HR: Adam Jones (10), Nick Markakis (6), Ryan Flaherty (2)...

Fifteen Ways to Lose Your Lover

It’s hard to place a finger on who or what is so unlikable about this team, but A.J. Pierzynski is as good a place to start as any. The catcher blew a kiss to the crowd and celebrated after his three-run homer in the first inning. With the various ailments plaguing the Red Sox Pierzynski was slotted in as the designated hitter in yesterday’s game. He acted as if he were Big Papi after his homer. It seemed like the necessary shakeup in the lineup prompted an offensive outburst. Boston scored five runs in the first inning against no less than the Rays’ ace David Price. But Jake Peavy couldn’t keep the Rays at bay and the game stood at a 5-5 tie for nine innings. When the Red Sox got runners on base in the 12th, 13th, and 14th innings there didn’t seem to be any excitement on the bench. The atmosphere was more like anxiety. James Loney led off the 15th with a single and was replaced on the basepaths by Cole Figueroa, who won Friday’s game for Tampa Bay. Brandon Guyer bunted Figueroa over on what should have been a sacrifice bunt. Instead the miscommunication between Andrew...

Victory for Peavy

Jake Peavy finally notched his first win this season. In three of his previous four starts he pitched well enough to win but either wasn’t the pitcher of record when the Red Sox offense scored or had little run support. After a lackadaisical showing against the Yankees, Boston opened the series against another divisional foe with a positive performance. Peavy went 7 innings with 1 earned run, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts. It’s hard to tell the difference between fired-up and pissed-off Peavy. The Blue Jays played defense as badly as the Red Sox had done against the Yankees. In the sixth inning Jose Reyes’s throw to Juan Encarnacion was off the mark, allowing Dustin Pedroia to reach first. Toronto reliever Neil Wagner, who replaced Mark Buehrle in the sixth, walked David Ortiz and Mike Napoli, forcing in Boston’s seventh run. I wouldn’t expect Colby Rasmus to make every play to center look like a can of corn but he continues to look as if he lets balls get in play over his head with disturbing frequency. Rogers Centre’s playing field is amongst the worst surfaces, so one could forgive an outfielder for not laying out on every play or...

Boston Stronger

On the eve of Patriots’ Day the Red Sox held a ceremony for the Boston Marathon. Families of the victims, survivors, and first responders gathered while a bagpipe orchestra played. Canvases from 50 states paying tribute to the marathon ringed the field. By the afternoon one Boston team was celebrating. The Bruins won the second game of the first round of the playoffs against Detroit 4-1. Justin Florek, Reilly Smith, Milan Lucic, and Zdeno Chara scored goals while Jarome Iginla and Torey Krug had two assists each. In a reversal of David against Goliath, Brendan Smith tried to start a fight with Chara at the end of the first period. Referees intervened, not wanting to see more red on the Detroit player’s uniform. If the Red Sox were to be victorious they would have to overcome an early deficit. Jake Peavy was roughed up in the first inning to the tune of a Nelson Cruz home run, a free pass to Chris Davis, consecutive singles to Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, and a sac fly for J.J. Hardy. Baltimore scored runs in the fifth and sixth. Jones’s line drive RBI single to Jonny Gomes in left field knocked Peavy out...

Shaken and Stirred

The bad news: Jake Peavy was hammered for seven earned runs in a mere three innings of work. He gave up five hits and three bases on balls. One of the walks was to Austin Jackson with the bases loaded. Yes, the Austin Jackson who was an out machine until Jim Leyland shook up his lineup and had the center fielder batting eighth. Wily Leyland must have known that Jackson’s numbers against Peavy were outstanding: in 32 plate appearances the outfielder’s slash stats are .345/.406/.992. Leyland’s shake-up was well-timed to coincide with a favorable match-up for his struggling player. The good news: Despite losing the Red Sox batters tallied 12 hits, which is equal to the number of hits they had for the first three games combined. While Leyland shuffled his leadoff hitter lower into the order, John Farrell stuck with Jacoby Ellsbury long enough for it to pay dividends. Ellsbury busted out with a 4-for-5 showing, a run scored, and a run batted in. Farrell’s patience with Will Middlebrooks may have given out at last. The Red Sox skipper gave Xander Bogaerts a try in Middlebrooks’s slot last night and the rookie laced a ground-rule double to right in...

Nine Pitchers Pitching

Eight bases on balls. Seven umpires umpiring. Six pitchers in the bullpen. No gold rings. Four catwalk rings. Three runs scored. Two saves for Koji Uehara. And an ALCS ticket for the Red Sox. Joe Maddon swapped out pitchers faster and more often than Lady Gaga changes costumes. Jeremy Hellickson, who had been a much-vaunted prospect in Tampa Bay’s system, was tapped to start the game. He began promisingly by sitting the first three batters without incident. In the second frame, however, the wheels came off quickly. David Ortiz and Mike Napoli walked on four pitches each and Daniel Nava lined a single to right field. Rather than seeing how the Tampa Bay “RAYS”ed hurler would perform with the bases loaded and none out Maddon pulled Hellickson in favor of Jamey Wright. Maddon proved what a brilliant tactic this was when Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out and Stephen Drew lined into an improbable double play. Just like he drew it up. Maddon’s luck ran out in the seventh inning. He would have preferred a shut down frame after his team had finally scored when David DeJesus drove in Yunel Escobar. But the Red Sox skipper made a move that, unlike Maddon’s...

Rock This Town

The Red Sox pummeled the Rockies with a 15-run barrage spearheaded by Will Middlebrooks. Boston’s third baseman clouted two home runs; a three-run shot in the fifth and a grand slam in the eighth. Middlebrooks’s four-baggers added to the lead that Shane Victorino established in the fourth with a three-run homer of his own. Victorino must have felt he should make the most of his at bat as Jake Peavy smacked a one-out double to center. “Another example of pitchers being great athletes,” quipped Mike Timlin. Timlin also got a kick out of Peavy’s Willie Mays Hayes gloves. Jacoby Ellsbury played for the first time since September 5th, and if he has been letting his beard grow since then he has about five years to go before can hold a candle to Mike Napoli’s shrubbery. Ellsbury went 1-for-2 and he followed Peavy’s double with a base on balls. In his last home game Todd Helton went 2-for-3 with a solo home run. The Colorado Rockies gave him an American Paint horse named A Tru Bustamove as a retirement gift. Young MC approves of the name. Not only did the Red Sox do their level best to maintain the best record...


This crew is ready for Dollar Beard Night next week Wednesday. As splendid as the 2004 season was it was difficult for the Red Sox marketing department capitalize on that magical run (nor did they need to). It would have been fun to give dollar tickets to people who scored low on intelligence tests. Jake Peavy got hit in the right wrist with a comebacker off Desmond Jennings’s bat. The ball caromed to Xander Bogaerts, who threw to Dustin Pedroia to get Wil Myers at second for the second out. Peavy impatiently waved off John Farrell and the trainers after the incident. Peavy remained in the game for the last out of the frame but didn’t come back out for the next stanza. Whatever pitching charts and matchup statistics the Rays were using worked well as the Red Sox batters couldn’t unknot the 3-3 tie. Fernando Rodney had the tiltometer (© Derek Lowe) in full effect. Many thanks to Lowe who provided memorable commentary during this series. He may not have Dennis Eckersley’s lingo or Hall of Fame legacy but he told many dugout tales. My favorite was when he hid in the clubhouse until 2:00 AM so that he...

The Improbable Dream

Jake Peavy had a mishap pursuing Brett Gardner’s bunted ball in the third. He probably should have let Ryan Lavarnway try to field it, but Peavy is the kind of player that wants to contribute as much as possible. Because of this spirit John Farrell tends to leave Peavy in situations that usually would have him gesturing to the bullpen. Farrell stuck with Peavy in the seventh and didn’t call on a reliever until the starter had allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base. Perhaps Farrell was trying to rest his taxed bullpen. Junichi Tazawa had done so well in his set-up role and there were so many injuries that he was one of Farrell’s favorites. But last night he and Matt Thornton allowed all their inherited runners to score. Peavy was erased from the decision when the Yankees took the lead, 8-7. It was a comeback so detestable that even replaying Alex Rodriguez’s stumble on his fourth-inning double didn’t inspire a smile. Unlike Tazawa, David Robertson pitched a perfect frame in the eighth. Mariano Rivera was one out away from adding another treasured memory to Mariano Rivera’s retirement tour scrapbook in the ninth. He dispatched David...

Sox Success

Jake Peavy doesn’t have the same opportunities as position players to get his uniform dirty, so he does the best he can with the rosin bag. The starter went seven innings with five hits, two earned runs, one base on balls, and four strikeouts. It was the first time he faced one of his former teams. He didn’t seem any more fired up than usual, although it may not be humanly possible for someone to get more impassioned than Peavy on a night he starts. David Ross has worked his way back from concussions and even from the eight-hole the backstop has contributed. He went 2-for-3 and could have gone 3-for-3 had Conor Gillaspie not robbed him of an extra base hit in the bottom of the fifth. The Red Sox players have taken to growing out their facial hair, and Ross’s beard is weird. We shouldn’t judge people by their appearance, however. If we did Don Orsillo would be hosting “Family Feud” or portraying Harry Dunne. Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes are neck and neck in beard length. Napoli seems to have turned it around since being dropped in the order and was a productive 2-for-4 in the five...

Happy Anniversary

It was one year ago this past Sunday that Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nick Punto were sent to the Dodgers for James Loney, Ivan De Jesus Jr., Allen Webster and two players that were later confirmed to be Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands. Both teams currently lead their divisions so it seems to be one of those deals that worked out well for both parties. Although it probably wasn’t expected that the Red Sox could turn their listing ship aright so quickly. The prospects Boston received who have played this season weren’t particularly stellar, filling a need in the depleted pitching staff when necessary. Webster doesn’t seem ready this season but seems to profile as a fourth or fifth starter. De La Rosa has been erratic but, as Dennis Eckersley would say, has the cheese to party. Jake Peavy brought the cheese all game save for a fastball he teed up for Adrian Gonzalez in the fourth. The four-bagger was the only extra base hit Peavy relinquished and was one of only three hits to boot. Peavy was likely motivated by his San Diego roots to perform well against the Dodgers. Perhaps Gonzalez wished to...

On the Mark

The Red Sox knocked around Mark Buehrle for 11 hits but only managed to push one runner across home plate. Dustin Pedroia almost scored in the first inning but was thrown out by Kevin Pillar at home. Contrary to my assumption, Pillar is not a branch of Kevin Millar’s family with a debilitating speech impediment. When David Ortiz fouled the ball off himself there were as many panicked Boston sports fans as when Tom Brady went down with an apparent knee injury in a a scrimmage against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ortiz stayed in the game but went hitless. Home plate umpire Chris Guccione tipped off Ryan Lavarnway in the sixth. Third base coach Brian Butterfield was trying to send Lavarnway a sign but the catcher was unaware. Good thing Guccione was feeling helpful as a hit-and-run was called. Next season umpires will be getting help themselves. Major League Baseball will expand instant replay to include challenges from the managers in 2014. Skippers will be allowed one challenge for the first two-thirds of the game and two from the seventh inning until the game ends. Similar to the NHL the challenges will be evaluated centrally. Game 123: August 15, 2013...

Tripped Up

No one was more upset than Jake Peavy with how he pitched last night. He gave up the lead early but Drake Britton added fuel to Peavy’s fire by allowing both runners he inherited to score, along with many more. The sixth-inning, six-run outburst by the local nine rendered Mike Napoli’s bases-clearing double in the fourth moot. But it was good to see the Red Sox first baseman produce runs in key situations. A pivotal play in Kansas City’s rally was David Lough’s line drive to Shane Victorino. The right fielder made the catch but stumbled on the turf before composing himself for a throw. Had Victorino not tripped he may have thrown out Mike Moustakas at home. Game 118: August 9, 2013 Boston Red Sox70-48 6 BS, L: Drake Britton (1, 1-1) 2B: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (29), Mike Napoli (29)HR: David Ortiz (22) Kansas City Royals60-53 9 W: Francisley Bueno (1-0)H: Kelvin Herrera (14), Tim Collins (18)S: Greg Holland (31) 2B: Billy Butler (22)HR: Justin Maxwell (5), Alex Gordon (12)...

Fired Up

Jake Peavy made his Red Sox debut on his grandmother’s birthday. Her name was Dama Lolly and she recently passed away after fighting cancer. After his first win with his new team Peavy thanked fans on Twitter, saying “Tonight is just 1 win, but it's 1 I'll never forget!!” And neither will Red Sox fans. Since Josh Beckett was traded out of Boston there had been something of a lack of feverish outbursts on the mound. Peavy filled that void, yelling invectives at himself when he departed the mound between innings. Not that he had a lot to berate himself about: 7 innings pitched, 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts. One run came in the fourth on NL MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt’s home run. The other was in the eighth when Junichi Tazawa allowed Wil Nieves, a runner he inherited, to cross home on a single off Aaron Hill’s bat. Peavy not only covers for Clay Buchholz in the rotation but could also understudy at guitar. He may have played the hat tip card a bit early, though. In the eighth Jarrod Saltalamacchia lofted a two-run shot directly into Koji Uehara’s glove. Uehara returned the favor...

Plays of Future Past

In the bottom of the second Jose Iglesias knocked the ball off the Green Monster. He tried to leg the hit into a double but Raul Ibanez gathered the ball in time to make the play at second close. Nick Franklin missed the tag, however, and Iglesias made the out interesting by eluding Justin Smoak until he was tagged out at last by his counterpart Brad Miller. He made his last play on the basepaths memorable. Later in the night we learned that Iglesias was part of a three-team deal. Red Sox receive: Brayan Villarreal Jake Peavy Tigers receive: Jose Iglesias White Sox receive: Avisail Garcia Francelis Montas Cleuluis Rondon J.B. Wendelken Peavy comes with some health concerns, but what 32-year old pitcher doesn’t. He is a proven starter and didn’t cost as much as Cliff Lee. Brock Wyatt Holt was called up to shore up the infield. There are already hopeful whispers that top Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts might make his major league debut this season. He’s in no rush, however. The Red Sox feted Joe Morgan for the 25th anniversary of the 1988 season. Although the squad was eventually swept by the Athletics in the ALCS, the...

Ozmotic Pressure

Osmotic pressure: the selective diffusion process driven by the internal energy of the solvent molecules across a permeable membrane. Ozmotic pressure: the amount of force Ozzie Guillen exerts on a given input device (e.g. Blackberry or keyboard) when tweeting. Prior to this evening’s victory Guillen’s squad were mired in a three-game losing streak. They are still looking up at every team but the Twins in their division, but if Jake Peavy’s seeming return to Cy Young form holds they may find themselves back above .500 and in a position to threaten Cleveland’s supremacy (a phrase no one thought they would be typing this season). When Peavy’s latissimus dorsi detached on July 6, 2010 it wasn’t unreasonable to think his career was over. A day after the injury Will Carroll commented that other pitchers had strained that muscle but no one had ever had it completely tear from the bone. Less than a year later Peavy plowed through the packed Red Sox lineup with an impressive line: 7 innings pitched, 6 hits, 3 earned runs, no walks, and 2 strikeouts. In his six starts this month Jon Lester has had only two quality starts. He relinquished a season-high seven earned runs,...


Game 74: June 24, 2007 Red Sox 4 W: Josh Beckett (11-1)S: Jonathan Papelbon (18) 48-26, 1 game winning streak18-6-2 series record Padres 2 L: Jake Peavy (9-2) 42-32, 1 game losing streak16-7-2 series record Highlights: In the eighth Jason Varitek slammed his eighth jack of the season off Scott Linebrink into the beach at Petco Park. Russell Branyan’s Bonoesque sunglasses didn’t help him at the plate (1-4) nor on the field (where he clashed against a teammate to convert an out into a triple for Varitek). Welcome, Jake Peavy, to a modest simulacrum of the American League. Although I don’t often see you pitch, what I saw unfold yesterday afternoon against the brilliant blue San Diegan sky was a familiar scene: a National League pitcher getting a strong dose of what it could be like to pitch on the junior circuit. Ask opposing pitcher Josh Beckett what it is like to adapt to the power-hitting lineups of the AL East. He struggled mightily in 2006; without the pitcher in the nine-hole and the immensity of a pitcher-friendly field behind him, he was but a shadow of himself at first. Just as Peavy was a shade off yesterday, and...


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