Peavy at Fenway
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Peavy's 2013-14 tenure with the Red Sox transcended his 5-10 record and 4.48 ERA in the 30 starts he made for the club. He joined the team in a Trade Deadline deal, 3 1/2 months after the shocking bombings occurred at the Boston Marathon. The Red Sox were an integral part of the "Boston Strong" movement that rallied the city following the tragedy, and the fiery Peavy immediately got caught up in the swirl of emotions, on and off the field.
As meaningful as that period became in Peavy's life, his immediate concern as he returns to Fenway Park lies elsewhere. Peavy's now a Giant, and San Francisco needs a victory after being swept in three games at San Diego over the weekend.
San Francisco's scheduled starter for Tuesday's series opener, Peavy will strive to subdue the Red Sox, who entered Monday's scheduled off-day leading the Majors in hitting (.289), runs (501), on-base percentage (.357) and slugging percentage (.471).
"Getting ready for those guys, you see the numbers, where they rank offensively throughout the league," Peavy said. "I know what kind of challenge lies ahead. That being said, I look forward to it. And, look, I love Fenway. I love the town of Boston. It was a very, very special time in my life."
Peavy was very, very sincere in saying this. While maintaining a front-row seat for a city's rejuvenation, he played for a ballclub that surged to the World Series title. The combination of the Boston Strong movement and the Red Sox's postseason push stirred Peavy.
"A lot of people made the comment, 'Oh man, you guys really put the city on your back,'" he said. "That's the complete opposite of what happened. We got on the city's back. The energy and commitment to taking care of each other. ... There was just truly something a little bit bigger than all of us involved in that Boston Strong 2013 run."
Asked to name his best friends among the Red Sox, Peavy listed about half of the roster. But the first players he mentioned were fellow starters Jon Lester and John Lackey, along with catcher David Ross. Peavy proceeded to mention Dustin Pedroia, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes, Clay Buchholz, Stephen Drew and Shane Victorino.
Most or all of them, Peavy said, habitually gathered at a suite at a downtown hotel after games to analyze that night's outcome -- just as previous eras of ballplayers did all the time.
"There was a chemistry, a camaraderie there," Peavy said.