Rocky start turns into midseason form

Jake Peavy missed several games last year and blamed himself for the San Diego Padres missing the postseason. This year, he has been determined to see that mission through but the beginning of his year was derailed, leaving the rest of the year in question - or so some had thought.

When the season opened, Jake Peavy's biological clock was stuck on mid-March.

The Padres right-handed starter had missed two late spring starts with a mild left groin strain. So the Padres weren't that alarmed when Peavy gave up 11 runs on 21 hits over 21 1/3 innings in his three starts between April 29 and May 9.

"He was going through that dead arm stage that most pitchers have in spring training," said Padres manager Bruce Bochy, dismissing concerns that Peavy had problems.

Three starts later, Bochy's lack of concern seems to have been justified.

Peavy blanked the Diamondbacks on two hits Thursday, needing only 94 pitches to throw the first complete game of his career. Peavy, who turns 24 on May 31, issued only two walks and struck out two while lowering his ERA to 2.00.

Peavy is 5-0 this season and has won his last 12 decisions. He also has pitched 17 straight scoreless innings and since breaking out of his slump has allowed only one run on 10 hits and two walks over 23 innings (three starts) while striking out 20.

"My arm has felt great my last couple starts," said Peavy. "There was a couple games there where it didn't feel 100 percent, but I could still operate. Now I feel fine."

Peavy's shutout came in a showdown with Arizona ace Brandon Webb, who carried a 6-0 record into the game.

After not getting a complete game from a pitcher in the season's first 46 games, the Padres got back-to-back complete games from Jake Peavy and Brian Lawrence Thursday and Friday.

The Padres had used six relievers both Tuesday and Wednesday in Arizona. The only relievers who didn't work both games were closer Trevor Hoffman and Brian Falkenborg.

"This really helped the bullpen," said Padres manager Bruce Bochy after Lawrence followed Peavy's shutout by allowing only three runs on six hits in the Padres 9-3 win at San Francisco Friday night.

MadFriars Top Stories