ST. LOUIS — The difference in Jake Peavy’s performance from Boston to San Francisco is as great as the 3,000-mile distance between the cities.
He was 1-9 in Boston and destined to get a one-year pillow contract in free agency. He went 6-4 with the Giants, and now he’s going to earn himself a multiyear deal and it’ll probably be with San Francisco.
Peavy thought he was going to be a Cardinal for a moment at the trade deadline, but the Giants stepped in and acquired him.
His presence in San Francisco was partly because of the Bruce Bochy factor; his manager with the Giants also was his skipper in San Diego when Peavy was a Cy Young winner.
The next hurdle for Peavy is being an effective postseason pitcher, which he was in the Division Series against the Nationals and which he’ll get to show again in NLCS Game 2 vs. Lance Lynn and the Cardinals Sunday.
Peavy, traded to the Giants July 26 for lefty starter Edwin Escobar and righty reliever Heath Hembree, recalled the feelings of leaving Boston and going to San Francisco, where he had a 2.17 ERA and a 1.042 WHIP in 12 starts, compared with a 4.72 ERA with a 1.427 WHIP in 20 starts with the Sox.
“Although you know you’re getting traded to a good situation, it’s tough leaving where you’ve been,” Peavy said. “And especially with what happened in Boston the previous year, the relationship I had with the players there. And I don’t care, I’ve said this numerous times, and this is the truth: Any player that tells you that he wants to leave Boston, I’m going to question. That’s a special place, so no ballplayer in their right mind wants to leave that place.
“So it’s bittersweet when it’s happening, but then you get to your new home and gosh, I’m playing for this man [Bochy] again. It’s a special relationship we have and I couldn’t ask for more, to be honest with you. It’s been a great fit.”
But how about the change in performance?
“I got back with familiar faces,” Peavy said. “I got back to people who believe in me. [Bochy] believes in me like my high school coach believes in me, if that makes sense.
“That’s not saying that people in Boston didn’t believe in me. But it was a different feeling when I would take the mound there. I forgot what that feeling was like.”
Peavy pitched 5⅔ scoreless innings vs. Washington in the Division Series.
Ready to help
The Cardinals’ A.J. Pierzynski, who was added as a third catcher for pinch-hitting purposes, said, “I hope I can get up in a big spot and help this team win. That’s what I’m here for.” The former Red Sox was left off the Division Series roster, but manager Mike Matheny wanted to add another viable lefthanded bat off the bench vs. the Giants. “I completely understood getting left off the last round, but I told Mike I’d help in any way I can,” Pierzynski said . . . Lynn credited former Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter for his advancement as a starting pitcher. “He had a lot of things he went through and was able to share them with me, so when I go through them, or haven’t gone through them yet, I’ll know how to do it,” Lynn said. “So he has had a very big impact in my career.” . . . Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo interviewed with the Twins late in the week. He’s now interviewed with Houston (job filled by A.J. Hinch), Texas (vacant), and the Twins (vacant).
Nick Cafardo can be reached at email@example.com.