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Jake Peavy says Red Sox are frustrated but accountable: ‘We take responsibility for not playing our best’

05.19.14 at 12:08 pm ET
By
Jake Peavy (AP)

Jake Peavy was unable to end the Red Sox‘ skid Sunday night. (AP)

Jake Peavy is frustrated. He is frustrated with his own performance. He is frustrated with the team’s performance. Most of all, he is frustrated along with the rest of his teammates that the Red Sox are not winning games.

In a series in which the Sox needed to be flawless to earn a win against a surging Tigers team, Peavy and the Red Sox were anything but, getting outscored by a total of 13-3 while getting swept, including a 6-2 loss in Sunday’s series finale.

Peavy’s start against the Tigers, in some ways, concretely defined the recent struggles of the Red Sox: a performance displaying signs of life but ultimately marred by an overwhelming amount of inconsistency and far too many mistakes.

Any mistake Boston made on Sunday, Detroit took full advantage.

“We paid for [our mistakes], and the 1-2 changeup to Victor [Martinez] stays up in the zone for the two-run homer and an 0-2 fastball to Avila for another run in that sixth inning,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “They came in swinging the bat well, and when Jake missed his location, that lineup made us pay for it.”

The three-run home run, deposited by Martinez into the Red Sox bullpen, marked the start of the Tigers’ offensive output on Sunday and ultimately was too large a deficit for Boston to overcome. For Peavy, the home run highlighted the righty’s struggle with keeping the ball inside the fences. In all nine of his starts this season, Peavy has allowed a home run. While Peavy has historically generated more fly balls than ground balls, the 32-year-old knows that he needs to work on locating better in order to keep the long balls to a minimum.

“I’ve got to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark, but like I said, for the most part those home runs have been solo shots and haven’t kept me from having quality starts,” Peavy said. “You’ve got to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark, and I expect to do that.”

Farrell believes that Peavy’s competitive nature has allowed him to keep the Red Sox within striking distance during games, despite the rising numbers of homers.

“The one thing that Jake doesn’t do is back away from whoever is in the box at a given moment,” Farrell said after the game. “You can probably point to some mislocated pitches as being one thing. That’s when balls go out of the ballpark. They haven’t gotten to the intended area. Still, setting aside tonight and the five runs allowed, regardless of the home runs allowed, he’s pitched well for us to put us in position to keep the game under control, and again, against quality major league hitters, when you don’t locate, that’s what can happen.”

Throughout the outing, Peavy felt better as he pitched more. While Peavy certainly was not pleased with his performance, the righty said luck played a role in the Tigers’ offensive output.

“I felt, location-wise, they took advantage of a lot of the same things that happened [Saturday],” Peavy said. “Balls that were in the middle of the plate that they weren’t making outs on. If we catch a break and get [Miguel] Cabrera out, we save three runs in that inning, completely different ball game. If that’s the case, it’s a game of inches, and the balls certainly didn’t bounce our way. We could have done things on all ends of the ball to make things better. Like I said, we caught a team hot and didn’t catch any breaks on any side of the ball.”

Peavy indicated there is still room for improvement with everyone, and nobody in the locker room is pointing fingers at anyone else for the team’s recent overall struggles.

“Everybody in this room and our staff will tell you that we’ve got to get better on all sides of the ball, pitching, playing better defense and obviously swinging the bats a little bit better,” Peavy said. “We think, as a whole, we take responsibility for not playing our best, man for man, obviously it showed.”

The overarching feeling of frustration among players at the moment is clear. Peavy said the team can use that emotion to fuel its performance positively.

“Everybody in here is frustrated,” Peavy said. “It gets frustrating when you lose. Detroit is as good a team in baseball, you have to play flawless baseball to beat them and obviously we didn’t do that. We believe that we have the talent, and [Monday] is a day off and we can get a deep breath back and keep going against Toronto. There is still a lot of ball left to be played, and the biggest thing we’ve got to do is channel that frustration in the right way and work hard to come out of it.”

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