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The Giants didn't make any moves on July 31, which disappointed some who were hoping for a second baseman or an outfielder to wake up a moribund offense. Brian Sabean didn't do any shopping at the deadline other than a trade for Jake Peavy five days earlier, and that deal was necessary just to keep a struggling team afloat.
"I mean, Peavy was a deal we had to make," said Buster Posey, who then smiled and even let out a little chuckle.
The Giants' clubhouse is a much louder, happier place these days. They're more alive, thanks to an influx of youth and a veteran who leads the team in words uttered per game.
They needed a starter, and Peavy has filled Matt Cain's shoes quite nicely. He's won five of his last six starts, leading the National League in ERA since Aug. 9.
One of those wins occurred Thursday, when he allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings in Thursday's 6-2 victory to clinch a series sweep over the Diamondbacks. His ERA with the Giants is 2.29, or about half what he posted in Boston prior to the trade.
Yet for all Peavy has done on the mound, he may be just as valuable in the dugout.
"Not only has he thrown the ball great, but he's brought a lot of energy," Posey said. "It's definitely helped. He's a vocal guy. We don't have a ton of vocal guys on the team."
It's no secret to anyone watching Peavy from the stands or on TV that he's a talker. A yeller and screamer, even. However, the chatter doesn't cease between outings.
"As a starting pitcher, you influence the game once every five days," said Peavy, who does his best to make an impact on the days he doesn't pitch. "The pitcher might be tipping (pitches). Maybe I can get signs from the other dugout. Just encourage our guys. Because when you're in the game, it's hard to really be vocal and see things in maybe a different light, kind of watch the game as a whole. I enjoy that. I enjoy trying to pick my teammates up, lift their spirits."
On the day the Giants sent Heath Hembree and Edwin Escobar to the Red Sox in exchange for Peavy, Bruce Bochy couldn't hold back his excitement. "He’s a great teammate," Bochy said. "These guys are going to love him, his approach to the game and how he plays it.”
That's exactly how Peavy would want his first big league manager -- or anyone else who's worn the same uniform -- to describe him.
"As you get older, you realize what the word 'teammate' is," said Peavy. "When I walk away from this game, that's what I want to be said about me. I don't care about any numbers, any wins and losses. I want my peers, when they get asked about me, to say this guy came in prepared, he got his work done, and he was one of the best teammates I've ever had."
The Giants didn't turn things around immediately upon Peavy's arrival, however. He arrived in time to see the Dodgers sweep his new squad at home, with Peavy losing the series' last game. But he and the Giants have gotten to know each other, and things look quite different in mid-September as the Dodgers venture back to AT&T Park, clinging to a two-game lead in the NL West.
"Over the past few weeks we've found some identity as a team. Playing good team baseball, playing for each other, playing hard," said Peavy.
"We're excited about the opportunity (to face the Dodgers). There's nobody in this clubhouse who believes that we can't get it done … There's a championship pedigree around here. These guys have done it before. They've been in the fight."
The Giants roll into this series with the momentum that comes from gaining 3.5 games on the Dodgers over the last month and winning nine straight at home. While Peavy was his usual fiery self on Thursday in a game the Giants couldn't let slip away, he's more than happy to fill in the gaps wherever needed against the Dodgers. Whether that's eyeing Don Mattingly and his coaches in the opposing dugout, or playing the role of cheerleader.
"I'll have my pom-poms out all weekend," Peavy said. "You'll hear me yelling in the dugout this weekend, that's for sure."