DETROIT — When the Red Sox traded for Jake Peavy in July, it was for games like the one he will start on Wednesday night.
The Red Sox had a solid rotation but the addition of Peavy gave them one that could make a run through the postseason. Few teams have a No. 4 starter who is a former Cy Young Award winner.
“We knew we needed another quality starter and we got that in Jake,” manager John Farrell said.
Now, with the Red Sox leading the Tigers, 2-1, in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series, Peavy will face Doug Fister in Game 4.
Peavy pitched well in the clinching fourth game of the Division Series, allowing one run over 5⅔ innings against Tampa Bay. This will be the first LCS start of his career.
“When you get traded you know you’re going to a contender and this is what, as a competitor, as a baseball player playing at the highest level, you dream of being able to do, pitch in games that mean the world to your teammates, to yourself, to your coaching staff, and your fan base,” Peavy said.
“I promise you this, every part of me will be ready to go tomorrow and I’ll be mentally prepared and rested. I’ll be physically ready and rested. It comes down to go out and executing pitches and staying under control. I can’t tell you how excited I am.”
Peavy faced the Tigers July 25, his last game before being traded to the Red Sox. He allowed four runs on four hits over seven innings.
Peavy is 4-5 with a 4.83 earned run average in 12 career starts against the Tigers and knows them well after playing parts of five seasons with the Chicago White Sox.
“I do know those guys well. We had a lot of matchups. Some of them went well; some of them didn’t go so well,” Peavy said. “That’s all out the window. It comes down to tomorrow night, executing the game plan that we think we’re going to go with and get those guys out.’’
Farrell has come to enjoy the emotion Peavy brings to his starts.
“We know when he walks on the mound he’s going to lay it all on the line, there’s not going to be anything left in the tank when he walks off,” he said. “I think our guys in the dugout feed off the times he’s yelling at himself to try to motivate himself at key moments. He’s accountable. He’s stand-up. And we know for a fact by watching his preparation he’s going to be ready to go on the day he’s called upon.”
A brief power outage at Comerica Park delayed the game for 17 minutes midway through the second inning.
DTE Energy said a cable failure in the area near the stadium caused the problem. The failure caused a voltage reduction, which tripped the lights in the stadium. The delay was largely due to the stadium lights needing 15 minutes to re-set.
Red Sox pitcher John Lackey was given all the time he needed to warm up. Lackey retired the side in order and the game progressed without further incident.
“We’ve identified the cause of the disturbance and we worked with officials at Comerica Park to resolve the issue quickly,” said Steve Kurmas, president and chief operating officer for DTE Electric. “We regret the interruption.”
Peavy pays tribute
Players from both teams were saddened to hear of the passing of umpire Wally Bell on Monday, of an apparent heart attack. Bell, 48, was an umpire for 21 seasons.
Peavy spoke emotionally about Bell before his press conference started.
“I just wanted to say on the record how deeply saddened everybody in our community obviously is with the passing of Wally Bell, and our thoughts and prayers are certainly with his family,” Peavy said. “Wally was a tremendous, tremendous umpire, but a tremendous person, as well.’’
There was a moment of silence before the game for Bell and the six umpires working the game left a space open in their ranks as they stood behind the plate with their heads bowed. Umpires will wear a patch to honor Bell starting on Wednesday.
When he’s healthy, Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera does not move around very well in the field. Now that he’s dealing with assorted health issues, why aren’t the Red Sox bunting on him?
Farrell explained before the game.
“That’s why you see against the guys that are bunting types that he has been damn near even with the mound,” Farrell said. “He’s 45 feet from home plate. We’re probably more willing to try and put a ball by him than bunt into his own self-imposed shift.”
Beyond that, the Sox don’t have many bunters. The Sox had 17 bunt hits in the regular season. Seven were by Shane Victorino and six by Jose Iglesias, who is now a Tiger. Nobody else had more than one.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who almost always fakes a bunt on the first pitch, has one bunt single since the start of the 2010 season.
“Outside of those guys, we’re not going to ask somebody to come out of their game,” Farrell said.
Then comes the problem of trying to bunt against pitchers throwing in the mid-to-upper 90s.
“To think, ‘Hey, let’s go ahead and bunt him,’ well, it’s not that easy,” Farrell said.
A vote for Papi
Peavy is still excited about the grand slam David Ortiz hit on Sunday night. “David Ortiz, what can you say? They just inducted him in the Hall of Fame. I thought we should have an induction ceremony yesterday after that, that just solidifies this guy’s legacy,” Peavy said. “He’s a stud and has a flare for the dramatic and wants to be in that situation.” . . . Ortiz played in his 64th postseason game for the Sox, a franchise record. He had been tied with Jason Varitek . . . The Red Sox had several young players working out at their complex in Florida in case they were needed but they were allowed to go home . . . The interview room at Comerica Park is adjacent to the Red Sox clubhouse. As Farrell was answering a question about Victorino, the player stuck his head in the door and waved to his manager. “Hey, Vic,” Farrell said before finishing his answer . . . The win was the third 1-0 postseason victory for the Sox, the first since Game 1 of the 1986 World Series . . . The first three games of the series have been decided by one run . . . Lackey’s eight strikeouts were a postseason career high . . . Cabrera was 0 for 4. He had reached base in 32 consecutive postseason games.Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.