Three runs isn’t an overwhelming amount of offensive support, but it got the job done Sunday afternoon.
The Chicago White Sox stopped their five-game losing streak by defeating the Indians 3-1. The man mainly responsible for this was Jake Peavy (2-1). The former Cy Young winner threw an outstanding game, striking out 11 batters while walking none. The only Indian that got the best of him was the leadoff hitter Michael Bourn. Other than that, Peavy settled in and retired twelve batters in a row.
The Sox managed to provide three runs of support in the form of home runs. Obviously that shouldn’t come as a surprise since the Sox have trouble getting runs on the board any other way. What is surprising is who hit them. Paul Konerko had a two-run blast in the sixth that scored Adam Dunn, who reached on a walk. Normally this wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary. However, the team captain has started this season on a bit of a slump, having only one multi-hit game and batting only .243. There couldn’t have been a better person to have the deciding swing on this skid-ending game than him. The other home run came from Alejandro De Aza, who has only hit 16 long balls in his career.
While Peavy’s last start was a disappointment, games like this show that Peavy can still bring out that high-caliber skill. In his first start, he gave up just four hits over six innings while striking out six. In both games he gave up just one run and has only walked one batter over 18.1 innings.
While this may be a bit stat heavy, what is important is that Peavy seems to need these kind of numbers if he wants to have even a .500 season. Sox fans will remember the astounding lack of run support that Peavy received last year. He went just 11-12 with a 3.37 ERA. What’s even worse is that he threw 219 innings, the second most of his career.
Now I don’t want to jinx anything (because Peavy seems to be made out of glass and is injury prone any day of the week), but Peavy could be ready to throw some of his best stuff yet. His fastball isn’t where it used to be, but he has compensated by vastly improving his control. He gave up 49 walks in the 2012 season which is the fewest of any of his full seasons. These are promising signs.
Tomorrow the White Sox head to Toronto to close out their road trip. The Sox currently sit two games back in the AL Central. When the Sox return to Chicago, they’ll play the Twins and the Indians and hope to separate themselves from their division rivals.