BOSTON (CBS) – Jake Peavy gave the Boston Red Sox seven strong innings in his debut last weekend, earning the win in the 5-2 victory over the Diamondbacks at Fenway.
It was a special outing for Peavy, and one he won’t forget. While he looks back on that debut fondly, he knows there is a long ways to go this season and he’ll have to keep putting up W’s to help reach the ultimate goal: a championship.
“I was excited to pitch in my new home, and to come out with a win and for the crowd to treat me so kindly was something I’ll never forget. But it’s only one win and you’re only as good as your last time out,” Peavy told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jonny Miller. “Tonight, we look to win another one.”
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He knows that won’t be easy against a red-hot Kansas City Royals team that beat the Sox 5-1 on Thursday, their 14th win in their last 16 games.
“Kansas City has really been playing well,” he said. “We recognized that and got prepared for it. I’m looking forward to going out and seeing if we can neutralize what they’re doing.”
“From here on out we have our work cut out for us, but we believe in the group we’ve assembled,” he said of his new squad.
While his focus tonight is on the Royals, Peavy has started envisioning a deep postseason run with Boston. He last pitched in the playoffs in 2006 with the San Diego Padres, when they suffered an NLDS loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Peavy has never been out of the first round, so joining a team that has championship aspirations was a shot of adrenaline for the 11-year veteran.
“When you get to the point in your career where I’m at, I’ve had some good years and bad years, both team–wise and personally. At this point in time it’s about winning and losing and I want to be part of a championship,” he said. “I’ve been close in the past, but never been a part of that group that has been special enough to get it done. It takes a special makeup, character and talent to make that happen. To be thrust into this situation, I’m excited as I ever could be and I’m going to take it all in.”
When asked if this team has what it takes to win it all, Peavy gave an emphatic “absolutely.”
“I think if you went around and asked man for man, we believe we have what it takes to win the division – that’s our main goal — and when we get in (to the postseason) to win 11 games. We have to stay focused on today, but we all believe something special could happen,” he said.
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With the new Wild Card system, there is added stress on winning the AL East for the Red Sox, who own a two game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays.
“The importance of winning the division is huge. You saw that with Texas last year, letting the division get away from them and then went to Baltimore and got beat out. Next thing you know you’re at home after a great season,” said Peavy. “We have to find a way to stay in front of Tampa, which isn’t going to be easy because we know how good of baseball they play, and other teams like Baltimore aren’t far behind as well.”
“We have to grind it out, stay focused on today, and we’ll certainly do our best at that.”