Jake Peavy explains why altering arm angle was right decision
|10.17.13 at 4:03 am ET|
DETROIT – The initial question came within the post-game interview session with a mass of media in the middle of the Red Sox’ clubhouse.
Jake Peavy had just struggled mightily in losing Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, and everyone was looking for answers. One lingering storyline surfaced during the question and answer – did the pitcher’s new arm angle have anything to do with the three-inning, seven-run outing.
“It had nothing to do with arm slot,” he said after the Red Sox’ 7-3 loss to the Tigers. “The ball was just, adrenaline or what it was, the ball was really going north and south today. Getting behind and trying to throw other pitches was probably a little bit of a downfall instead of sticking with it and finding that release point. There’s no margin for error, and you’ve got to figure it out on the fly. I wasn’t good enough today.”
But there are the voices who will continue to bring up Peavy’s unconventional decision to lower his arm angle with three starts to go until the completion of the regular season.
But just before exiting the visitors clubhouse at Comerica Park, Peavy elaborated on why the new arm slot shouldn’t be considered an issue.
“Of course people will say, ‘Was it the right time?’ Absolutely it was,” Peavy told WEEI.com. “Nobody said that five days ago.”
What Peavy was referencing was his lock-down start against Tampa Bay in Game 4 of the American League Division Series against Tampa Bay, in which allowed just one run over 5 2/3 innings.
Peavy pointed to the challenge of facing such as the Tigers as one of the reasons he made the change back prior to his Sept. 12 start against the Rays.
“To beat this team, to beat good teams, you have to have good stuff,” Peavy said. “When you know you are going to do something that will make your stuff better, of course you’re going to do that. We’re playing baseball at the highest level, and if you can’t make adjustments and get the most out of your body then you shouldn’t be here.”
The righty reverted back to the arm slot he had last used in 2009 for a combination of reasons. There was the consultation with the medical staff that suggested such an approach would take pressure off his shoulder and lat. It’s hypothesis that seems to be on the money, with Peavy pointing out he has had to get less and less treatment throughout the past month.
Then there was the notion that he needed to upgrade his stuff. Peavy felt his arsenal was becoming pedestrian as an over-the-top pitcher, and far from the kind of pitcher he won a Cy Young as in ’07.
“My arm slot is a little bit down from where it was, but consequently my stuff is quite better,” he said. “Obviously the ball is going to move more and that’s something that we want. It’s on me to be able to be professional enough, and good enough to make adjustments on the fly. Tonight I just couldn’t’ quite reel it in, although we were very close at times. You’ve got to have good stuff and movement if you are going to beat these good teams.
“If I want to be the pitcher that I know I still can be I need to go back and get as close as I could to pre-surgery. This was a move everybody involved was very comfortable with.
“It’s something as time goes on I’ll feel more comfortable. Going into the offseason and throwing like that from the start will be fun. I hope to get out there and have that arm slot for at least one more, and possibly two more, starts.”
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