Let the serious bidding begin.
In what likely was his last start in a White Sox uniform Thursday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, Jake Peavy showed the overflow group of scouts sitting behind home plate he was healthy.
Even better for the Sox, who should get quite a haul of young talent for the 32-year-pitcher before Wednesday’s nonwaiver trade deadline, Peavy showed contending teams he is still an effective, competitive pitcher.
“Just trying to win, come up with a game plan and we executed it for the most part,” Peavy said after the Sox beat the Tigers 7-4 to avoid a four-game sweep. “And it’s unfortunate, the times I didn’t I got behind and gave up homers.”
Peavy gave a 2-run homer to Torii Hunter in the fourth inning and solo shots to Victor Martinez in the seventh and Brayan Pena in the eighth.
Other than that, the right-hander kept Detroit’s bats quiet.
“He was pretty good,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. “He was better than four runs, but in those situations you don’t want to walk guys and create momentum for the other team and then they put the ball in play and then hit it out. No big deal. He did a good job competing all day.”
Peavy exited to a standing ovation from the crowd of 30,348 after Pena’s homer led off the eighth.
Making his second start after missing six weeks with a fractured rib, Peavy (8-4) said he felt much better then he did Saturday, when he came off the disabled list and allowed 4 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits in 6 innings against the Braves.
“I definitely got better,” Peavy said. “I certainly felt a whole lot better, more in control. I came out for that Atlanta start so strong and excited to be out there. I knew I had to pace myself better and execute a game plan against (Detroit).”
Now, Peavy is likely to pace around until he’s traded to Atlanta, Boston, St. Louis, Oakland or other contender.
Any idea what’s going to happen?
“I really don’t,” Peavy said. “I’ve talked to (general manager) Rick (Hahn) a little bit. We’ll just have to sit and wait. I really can’t put words in his mouth, and my gut feeling tells me I could be traded and I could be a part of this going forward. Either way, I’ll be OK. I’m a big boy and understand the situation.
“I’ll be happy to stay here and be the best teammate I can be, grind it out the rest of the season and make sure we keep playing hard and show up to win every day. If I get traded, I’ll give the boys a big hug and make sure a few tears will be shed, leaving the friendships here. And I’ll go play as hard as I can to help the next ballclub I’m on, if that happens.”
Since he is signed through next season, there is a chance Peavy stays with the last-place White Sox. But given the needed infusion of talent he could bring in a trade, Thursday was very likely Peavy’s last start.
“I don’t want him to go,” manager Robin Ventura said. “I enjoy him being on our team. I know what he means. I don’t make that decision so again, I’m kind of the guy that appreciates him being on our team right now and I hope he’s here through next year, too.
“He’s a pro. He’s done a lot of different things for us, not just going on the field and being a good pitcher. Just kind of being the leader inside for the staff and what he’s meant to a lot of the younger guys, bringing them along. That’s some of the bigger stuff that people don’t see.
“He’s a good pitcher and people can see that. But what he brings is a lot more, especially for me looking at it as a manager.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.