If Thursday afternoon was Jake Peavy’s last start in a White Sox uniform, he went out a winner.
While the last pitch he threw was taken over the right field fence by Brayan Pena, Peavy went seven plus innings while allowing four runs and just four hits and two walks. More importantly, he threw 117 pitches, regularly hit 92-93 on the gun, and showed no ill effects of the fractured rib he returned from just after the All-Star break.
Plenty of scouts were in attendance for this one, as ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark tweeted that the Red Sox, Cardinals, Dodgers, Braves, Orioles, Reds, and Rangers all had at least one talent evaluator watching the game. A’s beat writer Susan Slusser also told us that the A’s Director of Player Personnel was on hand as well. With all of that in mind, Peavy certainly impressed, and should have boosted his stock even more.
It’s certainly possible that all of the teams in attendance were there to watch guys other than Peavy as well. If that was the case, the Sox’s other trade chips contributed as well. Matt Lindstrom threw a clean eighth inning, Alexei Ramirez had two hits and two RBI (although he did make a poor throw to Adam Dunn at first base, leading to a Dunn error), Alex Rios had two hits and an RBI, and longshot trade candidates Jeff Keppinger and Adam Dunn each had a hit (Keppinger drove in a run as well). However, Alejandro De Aza, who has recently been linked to the Rangers in trade talks, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Aside from the trade ramifications of the game, there were two possibly apocalyptic signs in this one. Tyler Flowers recorded two hits and a home run, and Justin Verlander get bombed out by the Sox for a second straight outing.
Ok, I’m joking about the apocalypse thing, and Verlander getting knocked around is actually becoming a common occurrence. Over his last four starts, the former MVP is 1-3, allowing 18 runs (17 earned) in 25.2 innings. That’s a 6.07 ERA, and one of those four outings was a one-hit shutout against the Rangers. So, in his last three losses, he has an 8.40 ERA. That’s hardly ace material. Luckly for the Tigers, guys like Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez have done more than picked up the slack.
As far as Flowers goes, it’s nice that he had two hits and a long ball, but it’s probably too little too late. Josh Phegley’s play of late has basically made him earn the everyday catcher role.
The White Sox will take on the Kansas City Royals starting tomorrow, and it could be the last chance for fans to see Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez, and others in a White Sox. While it’s been a miserable year, fans have actually been coming out to the ballpark at a higher rate than last season. Since many guys could be out the door by the end of the series, this weekend may be a good time to make another trip to 35th and Shields.