Jake Peavy stood in front of his stall in the Red Sox clubhouse and grabbed the small, dark brown box from the top shelf, taking a brief, but close, look at the diamond-clad World Series ring inside.
It was the first glimpse Peavy got of his new hardware.
While the Red Sox were issued their rings during the pregame ceremony, Peavy was working diligently in the bullpen with A.J. Pierzynski to prepare for his home-opener start at Fenway Park.
“Getting ready is a whole process, it starts an hour and a half before the game,” Peavy said. “It’s a bummer I couldn’t be a part, but it was an exciting day to be on the mound.
“Maybe tonight I’ll get to take it all in.”
Peavy went six innings, giving up just two runs and earning a no-decision in an eventual 6-2 loss to the Brewers.
After giving up two runs in the second inning, Peavy settled in and retired 12 of the next 16 batters.
The Red Sox battled back with single runs in the second and third innings to tie the game, and Peavy kept them in it.
But the righthander expected more of himself.
“Any time you have a chance to win, when you don’t have your best stuff and have your best feel, you’re OK with it,” Peavy said. “But you expect more.
“At the end of the day, you want to pitch deeper in the ballgame, give up less than two runs, and that’s all there is to it.”
Peavy appeared to be fuming after he gave up a leadoff home run to Jonathan Lucroy in the second, leaving an 88-mile-per-hour fastball right in the Milwaukee catcher’s wheelhouse.
Lucroy sent it soaring over the Green Monster to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead, and Carlos Gomez added to it with a single that scored Khris Davis.
Gomez hit a hard grounder down the third base line and the ball clipped the bag, staying just fair as it skipped into left.
“The second inning got away from us,” Peavy said. “I gave up some hits in other innings, but you just hate you get behind Lucroy there and he hits a home run, and that ball is foul and comes back and hits the bag that Gomez hits, it’s a tough break.”
Although Peavy wanted a better result, he was happy to get his first start out of the way. Peavy pitched well in spring training, giving up just three runs in 12⅔ innings, but he said the first regular-season start is always the hardest.
“In spring training, you cannot duplicate the way you go during the season, I don’t care how excited you get, there’s just an extra gear,” he said. “It was good today to dig it out because I couldn’t have felt any better coming out of spring and I was a tick off today with mechanics and being able to throw the ball exactly where I wanted to.”Anthony Gulizia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @gulizia_a