9:10 AM CDT, July 26, 2011
The Detroit Tigers, who collapse worse in the second half of Jim Leyland’s seasons than the White Sox do in Ozzie Guillen’s, will start their Cy Young candidate Tuesday night.
The Sox will start the guy Guillen calls his “ace.’’
Let’s meet them, shall we?
Justin Verlander comes in at 13-5 with a 2.24 ERA, leading the American League in strikeouts and WHIP for the AL Central-leading Tigers.
That’s an ace.
Jake Peavy comes in with the worst ERA on a Sox team that is sub-.500.
That’s an ace?
That’s what Guillen said of Peavy’s after Mark Buehrle beat the Tigers in the opener of this three-game series: “That’s the reason he’s our ace. That’s why we got him here, to pitch in big games.’’
The old Jake Peavy, the Cy Young Jake Peavy -- that’s the guy who was an ace. The Sox’s current Jake Peavy? Yuck.
I mean, if the Sox got Peavy to pitch in big games, then they’d better make sure they have big games only once a week. That’s all the guy can pitch, and sometimes not even then.
Peavy admitted he was asking pitching coach Don Cooper to be put on the back side of the six-man rotation that was designed specifically because Peavy can’t go every fifth day. He wasn’t exactly dazzling on eight days’ rest, either.
Peavy tried to pitch on normal rest for two weeks leading into the All-Star and got blasted. His numbers looked as bad as his pitches, and there’s little to give you confidence that it will change. His last start came with eight days’ rest, and he still gave up three runs in six innings to Kansas City. Tonight, he’s pitching on six days’ rest against a better hitting team.
This might not be bloody, but that’s the way to bet. In his last four starts over nearly a month, Peavy has allowed 17 earned runs in 22 1/3 innings, an ERA of 6.85 that is worse than his team-worst ERA.
This is your ace?
If I didn’t know better, I’d say Guillen was taking a shot at his general manager. I’d say Guillen was making sure everyone knew which guy overpaid for a pitcher who has delivered a lot more big talk than big victories.
Maybe Guillen was just trying to fill Peavy’s head with ear candy, but still, calling Peavy your ace sounds dumb, especially on a night when Mark Buehrle showed you what an ace does.
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