Peavy picks up where he left off in spring debut

Peavy picks up where he left off in spring debut
March 4, 2011, 8:50 pm
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Friday, March 4, 2011
Posted: 2:43 p.m. Updated: 6:29 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jake Peavy breezed through his first appearance of spring training, throwing a scoreless and hitless two innings.

Im relieved, pleased, Peavy said. Its a big step to get out there in a game. I did what I expected to do and hoped what I would be able to do, turn it up a level get some big league hitters out, and feel normal in doing that. I accomplished that today, and hope Ive put a lot of questions and issues to rest.

Peavy struck out Los Angeles Angels leadoff hitter Maicer Izturis on four pitches, then worked Bobby Abreu to a full count before walking him. With a 1-0 count on Torii Hunter, Peavy coaxed a 4-6-3 double play from the Angels right fielder.

In the second, Peavy punched out cleanup hitter Vernon Wells on four pitches, then completed the minimum six batters by getting Howie Kendrick to fly out to center on an 0-2 count and Erick Aybar on a 3-2 drive to left.

I put something on that pitch to Wells. I wasnt airing it out, but was putting something on the ball and trying to take it up a notch, Peavy said. The last few pens, my velocity has been slowly climbing. Ill see what I have in the tank and the end of spring training.

In all, Peavy threw just 26 pitches, allowing one walk and striking out two. From the start, he looked comfortable and smooth in striding to the mound for the first time since July 6, 2010.

I didnt throw any changeups, Peavy said. I threw some cutters and breaking balls, and obviously fastballs. Didnt really air anything out but certainly tried to put something on the ball to make it challenging for big league hitters. I missed a few barrels and balls got away from me a little bit with Abreu and Aybar. But other than that, it went pretty smoothly.

After the second inning, Peavy was given a standing ovation by White Sox players and coaches, as well as fans behind the third-base dugout, as he exited the game. Manager Ozzie Guillen and bench coach Joey Cora then orchestrated a standing ovation for the clubs incomparable trainer, Herm Schneider, who was in the dugout walkway, cautiously watching Peavys first start in eight months.

I havent been in Chicago healthy and able to do what I wanted to do, said the relieved starter. I feel very blessed that Im going to get that opportunity in the near future, and on a great team as well.

The hitless, scoreless innings stretched the streak by White Sox starters to 10 straight innings.

Today was one of those mental hurdles, he said. Today was a big moment, to get out on the mound and throw breaking balls and make big-league hitters swing and miss, to throw some fastballs around 90 mph.

The last time I stood on the mound and let a ball go to Mike Napoli, it wasnt pretty and wasnt a pretty feeling Today, I felt like I was healthy. I think I showed that today.
From here

Peavy realized that his great outing and high spirits doesnt mean its smooth sailing from here on.

Tomorrow is a big day in seeing how I feel, Peavy said. Hopefully, theres nothing abnormal. Ill just move right ahead with a bullpen session and start focusing on the next spring training start, and head toward April.

Peavy is scheduled to make his next start on March 9 at the defending champion San Francisco Giants.

Wednesday is the game plan, Peavy said. Everything is renegotiable at this point, but since you guys have been covering the story, Ive been on track. Ive been very fortunate and blessed not to have any setbacks, and I hope that continues. At the same time, if theres anything abnormal, we are likely to back off instead of pushing through because of what has happened since coming to the White Sox.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.