Peavy the difference-maker for the stretch

Everyone knows Jake Peavy is the best pitcher on the San Diego Padres. But, he is also the key to the rest of the season. The young right-hander is a catalyst for the rest of the team and a willing leader when it comes to that.

Jake Peavy wants to be known as the Padres' "go-to guy" -- aka, the stopper.

"I want the ball at tough times," Peavy said recently.

Well, on July 21 he got the ball at the toughest of times in New York and responded with one of his worst outings ever -- surrendering seven runs to the Mets on seven hits, including two homers, in just five innings.

After the game, Padres manager Bruce Bochy said Peavy was trying too hard to stop a Padres losing streak that then had been stretched to four straight games.

Peavy was back on the mound Wednesday night (July 27) in San Diego with that same losing streak stretched to eight straight games. This time he responded with one of his best outings of the season, holding the Cardinals to one run on two hits over eight innings.

Trevor Hoffman got credit for the win when the Padres scored in the bottom of the ninth to post a skid-breaking 2-1 win. But it was Peavy who kept the Padres in the game.

Afterward, Peavy noted there was a big difference between the pitcher of Wednesday night and whatever it was working last Thursday afternoon in Shea Stadium.

"I feel bad for what I did for our team in New York," said Peavy after Wednesday's game. "I have to do better than that. I let that game get out of hand. What I was trying to do was too much. You just have to worry about winning games and not breaking streaks.

"You have to be yourself. You can't try to do too much. We had a talk about that in between starts. With the way Jason Marquis was pitching for the Cards tonight, I knew I couldn't give up more than the one run. But there was a big difference between tonight and what happened in New York."

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