COMMENTARY | I'll admit it. At first, I was not a big fan of the trade that sent Jose Iglesias to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Jake Peavy. I felt the Boston Red Sox were trying too hard to overachieve this year and had mortgaged a part of their future for an aging pitcher.
Boy, was I wrong.
Since coming to Boston, all Peavy has done is provide quality starts. Sunday night, he shut down the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers, going the distance and securing the series win--the first time the Dodgers have come up short since June. It's the kind of outing that has defined Peavy during his short Red Sox tenure, even if the run support hasn't always been there.
With Clay Buchholz still on the shelf, Peavy's presence in the rotation is a welcomed sight. Though the platoon of pitchers he replaced, like Brandon Workman, weren't having bad seasons, they were unpredictable. You generally know what you're getting out of Peavy each time he steps on the mound. His 3.31 ERA in August is third-best on the team among starters, behind John Lackey and Jon Lester.
Plus, he's just entertaining to watch. We need to get someone to make a super cut of him overreacting to every poor pitch, which tends to happen even in his stellar outings.
As good as it would be to have a starting infield of Xander Bogaerts, Iglesias, Dustin Pedroia and Will Middlebrooks across the diamond, pitching is what wins games. And Peavy is still a reliable starter, even at 32. Lackey has shown this year that age is just a number, turning in one of his better seasons at nearly 35-years-old.
Before Peavy's arrival, hearts fluttered anytime there was an injury scare. The depth at the position was just not there, with Allen Webster still struggling to put everything together at the MLB level, Steven Wright's starts an adventure, and Workman being hit-or-miss. Peavy calmed those fears a bit, and if Buchholz ever heals, it should turn what was once a weakness into a strength.
Peavy's contract extends into next year. He'll make $14.5 million next year, and he will be worth every penny to Boston if he keeps up the roll he's on. And, if not, well, it's not as if the Red Sox haven't shelled out a lot of cash for a lack of production before.
General manager Ben Cherington rolled the dice in acquiring the former Cy Young winner, betting big on this season after last year's dreadful campaign. Iglesias' outstanding web gem last month may have stung Red Sox fans a little, but Peavy is quickly winning their support, too.
If Boston does end up going deep in the playoffs, Peavy will be a big reason why.
Follow him on Twitter @ndrewL7.
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