SAN FRANCISCO — Jake Peavy’s best start of the season came a little over a week ago at Chase Field when he dialed it back and hit his spots, in part because a bug had sapped him of strength. How do the Giants get Peavy back to being that Peavy?
“Well, we got him sick in Arizona …” manager Bruce Bochy cracked before Sunday night’s game.
Bochy said he did see some of that “less than full throttle” Peavy on Friday night, but the results weren’t there. Peavy went 1 2/3 innings and allowed five runs, and he enters this week — when he’ll face the Padres — with an ERA of 8.21 and a 1.90 WHIP. How long is the leash?
“I don’t have a leash on him right now, so I don’t know,” Bochy said. “That’s my confidence in Jake, like with Matty (Cain) when Matty was going through his early struggles. I think these guys are going to come out of it.”
Cain already has, giving the Giants — at least for now — one of the better back-of-the-rotation starters in the league. Peavy is now the lone starter struggling, but Bochy has a long track record with Peavy, and he’s sticking behind a player who debuted for Bochy in San Diego 14 years ago.
“It helps me to know him with how I handle him, sure,” Bochy said. “With Jake, it’s a case of being honest and straightforward. Jake, he’s going to be fine. He had a hiccup in his last start but he had a couple of good ones before that. I think he’s close. The stuff is fine. He’s healthy and he’s close. He’s just got to be a little more consistent with execution.”
Bochy said he has no plans to shake up the rotation, even with off days coming soon. There is no real difference between swapping Peavy and Cain as long as both are in the rotation, aside from costing Cain an extra day of rest. It’s possible that the Giants could make a move next month when they have a day off before and after the Red Sox series at AT&T Park, but Bochy has long preferred to use the calendar as a way to give all his pitchers an extra day off. The hope is that Peavy pulls a Cain, and that break in the schedule can be used to get extra rest for the guys at the top of the rotation.
--- Giants pitchers lead the Majors with 14 RBI this season.