When Jake Peavy pitched for the Chicago White Sox, designated hitter Adam Dunn would often watch his innings from a video monitor in the clubhouse, then relay his advice.
“Me and him, we’d talk in between every inning. What he saw; what I was doing well,” Peavy said. “Think about it, the amount of time we talked.”
Those conversations have been running through Peavy’s head for a few days now. He will face the White Sox on Saturday night for the first time since he was traded to the Red Sox on July 30.
Peavy spent parts of five seasons with Chicago, winning 36 games and making the All-Star team in 2012. He also had plenty of friends in the clubhouse and facing those same players will be a unique experience.
“I can promise you this: I will be focused tomorrow night on what I need to do to be successful and my team to be successful,” Peavy said Friday.
“It’s going to be a tad bit different but I think there will be a little extra adrenalin and emotion that I’m going to have to keep in check because of course you want to beat the team that just traded you and they’re your buddies. Either I’m going to rag them or they’re going to rag me.”
Peavy plans to “over-emphasize” executing his pitches and not getting caught up in trying to out-guess hitters who know him so well. His one concern is Dunn smiling at him and breaking his concentration on the mound.
“I am worried that Dunner is such a big clown. I’m just worried about him. He could come up there and bat righthanded just because somebody dared him to and sit there and take or bunt. Who knows?” Peavy said.
Peavy regrets that Chicago fell on hard times and felt the need to trade him. The White Sox picked up outfielder Avisail Garcia from the Tigers in the three-team trade along with three Red Sox prospects.
“I did not want to leave Chicago. It was not my choice and I was not excited about leaving Chicago. That being said, I couldn’t be any more excited to be right here, right now,” Peavy said.
“I think this is the way it should have been. This bunch, I don’t think I could have walked into a better situation with a better bunch of guys who are a lot like me on and off the field. This is where I belong and I’m excited.”
Peavy is 2-1 with a 3.31 earned run average in five starts for the Red Sox. His last start, on Sunday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, was a complete game three-hitter.
That the last-place White Sox have played better in recent weeks pleases Peavy. He believes Chicago is not far away from contending again and hopes they will benefit from the trade.
“I’m excited for that but we don’t want that to happen here this weekend,” he said. “I want to win, absolutely all of me. I want to beat every team I play. I especially want to beat my buddies because I don’t want to hear about it.
“It’s not going to affect any friendships. But out of respect for the game, respect for your city, your teammates that you put the uniform on with, you go out and do all you can do during that three or four hours that we play to beat the opposition.”
Peavy will be pitching at Fenway Park for only the second time since the trade. He beat the Arizona Diamondbacks with seven strong innings on Aug. 3.
“What more could you ask for then to be in a pennant race? There’s energy every night. It’s what you want and I couldn’t be any more excited,” Peavy said.
The Red Sox also have former White Sox lefthander Matt Thornton on their staff. He was obtained in a trade on July 12.
Right way for Shane
Shane Victorino, a switch hitter, has been batting righthanded against righthanded pitchers since the first week of August to protect a sore left hamstring.
A funny thing happened: he’s more productive from that side than he was hitting lefthanded.
Victorino is hitting a respectable .277 with a .713 OPS batting lefthanded against righthanders. But entering Friday he was hitting .306 with a .923 OPS batting righthanded. Victorino went 2 for 4 with two runs and an RBI in the Red Sox’ 4-3 victory over the White Sox Friday night.
“He hasn’t abandoned the switch-hitting situation in general. But I think he feels so confident from the righthanded side of the plate that why mess with success at this point?” manager John Farrell said.
Victorino is a natural righthanded hitter who started switch-hitting in the minors to improve his value as a prospect.
The Red Sox, Farrell said, are fine with him staying on the right side because of the increased production.
“No. Honestly, no,” Farrell said when asked if he has seen this before. “The last team he hit right-on-right was when he was 19 years old. To just change midseason at the big level, that’s very rare.”
Bard to keep pitching
Daniel Bard told the Red Sox he wanted to keep pitching this season and Farrell indicated he would be assigned to Lowell.
Bard was out for more than three months before pitching two games in the Gulf Coast League and exhibiting the same wildness that derailed his career last season.
Bard faced six batters Thursday and walked five. He also threw two wild pitches.
“There’s been a conversation had with him, particularly after [Thursday’s] outing, which was a rough one,” Farrell said. “He wants a couple of more appearances and we can provide those to him just to give him opportunity and see where it might go.
“The potential of that being in Lowell is a real potential. Daniel has not closed the book on this season. I think that’s the first and foremost thing.”
In 15⅓ innings this season, counting two appearances with the Red Sox, Bard has walked 25 and thrown 10 wild pitches. He has eight strikeouts.
Carp still out
Mike Carp, who was scratched from the lineup Wednesday because of a sore left shoulder, is day to day. “I don’t see this extending too far out,” Farrell said . . . Mike Napoli, who walked with the bases loaded in the third inning, has matched his career best with 75 RBIs. He has five RBIs in his last five games . . . The Red Sox are 43-24 at Fenway Park . . . At 80-56, the Red Sox are on a pace to win 95 games . . . NESN announced that Dennis Eckersley would join Don Orsillo in the broadcast booth for the three games against the Tigers starting Monday and then continue on to New York for the Yankees series that starts Thursday. Former WEEI announcer Jon Rish is working this weekend in place of Jerry Remy.