Making his second start since last July, Jake Peavy was in Cy Young form against the AL Central leading Indians, pitching a three-hit shutout to lead the Sox to an important 1-0 victory on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Peavy allowed three hits, walked none and struck out eight, including four of the last five batters he faced.
"It means the world to me me,'' Peavy said. "I feel so blessed for the opportunity after you struggle to come back. More important, it's a 1-0 win, a great win for the boys.''
Here's what else Peavy had to say after the game:
"I feel so blessed to have the opportunity, once again, to go out there. For your stuff to come back, especially on a night like tonight when you have the first place team coming in and win 1-0 against a guy [Justin Masterson] who really has had our number, obviously it's personally gratifying but at the same time you got to put personal matters aside. A great win by the boys."
Asked if it was beyond his wildest expectations, Peavy said, "I wish I could tell you yes, but I expect to win. I don't know what to expect coming off this surgery, and I don't know how good I can be and if I can get back. This was a lot of what I used to do tonight, but I'm going to grind it out. But I can promise you on every fifth day, I take the ball [every] 6-7 [days], however many, I expect to win. And that's the bottom line. No matter if it has to happen tonight. If we have to win 8-5 in Texas six days from now, that's what has to happen, on that fifth day."
"It's fun. I threw a complete game shutout in Washington last year, but this was a completely different feeling, to be healthy and know you have what it takes to ask, 'hey, this is really my game, let me finish it.' To go out there and have that closer's mentality, you get that experience like that closer has and when it's your game, it's even more gratifying. I feel blessed. The boys played outstanding behind me. I couldn't have done it without some of the great plays we made. Just an awesome night."
After the final out: "I was so thankful. I thanked God for just the opportunity. I walked off that mound the last time I pitched here and never felt a worse pain in my life and I knew I felt something that turned loose in my arm and went down in my back and it felt as worse as I ever felt on the mound and it was so much in jeopardy that you just saw [surgeon] Dr. Romeo here for my first start [in Chicago] tonight, and it meant the world to have him here. But you have surgery that's deemed experimental, you just don't know where your career can go from there. To come back tonight and have the night we had with the boys, I told you guys this is as healthy as I've been in Chicago. I haven't been to Chicago healthy. I got traded to be the guy you saw tonight and I will do everything I can do to be that guy."
About pitching the ninth inning:
"Yeah, I just said this is my game. He said, 'I'm not taking you out." After 87 pitches last time, I thought I might have to do some lobbying. But I believe he knew what tonight meant to me and my team as well, and I thought I could get those last three outs tonight."
Pitching from stretch in rehab helped
"The biggest pitches I threw of the night were to Santana and Buck to have to get those outs. Throughout the course of the year, a starting pitcher is going to throw his biggest pitches out of the stretch, so it meant the world to me. I gave up some runs down there out of the stretch, and that's a pride factor. You got a bulls eye on you, but it all pays off when you're making big pitches up here and getting guys out and win a close one like we did."
"You got to beat that team. That's the bottom line. You can't let them come in here and bully us around. They're nine games ahead of us. We got to win them. We got a long way ahead of us to catch them. But at the same time, every game counts. We got our work cut out tomorrow with Fausto Carmona but the boys will come out battling and we can feed off this win. We felt we kind of stole one so that's a good night.''