Jake Peavy is off to one of his best starts in his up-and-down career. After winning the 2007 NL Cy Young, Peavy has had an extremely injury-prone five years with the San Diego Padres and now the Chicago White Sox. However, in the Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox matchup this Saturday, Peavy will continue to prove that he has finally returned to being a great pitcher in the major leagues.
In 2012, Peavy has been one of the best pitchers in the American League.
He has posted a 5-1 record with a 2.39 ERA, with his only loss coming in a complete game against the Boston Red Sox in which the White Sox failed to back him up—with zero runs on offense. Peavy has had a lot of previous success in the majors, so it's not like his start this year is out of the blue, but he will still need to prove that he's for real with strong performances, at least until the All-Star break.
However, I'm here to explain why Peavy's success will continue into his next start against the Cleveland Indians.
In his May 9th start against the Indians in Cleveland, Peavy threw 7.0 innings and gave up only seven hits, one run and one walk. He also had five strikeouts. He won the decision and improved to 4-1. If Peavy pitches the same way this Saturday, there is a good chance that Jake can throw another great game.
While Peavy's one bad start this season—a game where he gave up six earned runs against the Tigers—raised some eyebrows as to whether Peavy can sustain his level of play, he quickly quieted those doubters with his performance in his very next start against the Cubs.
He gave up zero runs over 6.1 innings, almost proving that his one bad inning against Detroit was a fluke.
The Cleveland Indians are 16th in the league in team batting average and 21st in home runs. While these rankings are by no means horrible, it just shows that if any team is going to mess with Peavy's hot streak, it won't be the Indians.
Peavy has given up a lot of fly balls this season, and critics have claimed that he will eventually give up more home runs—especially playing in U.S. Cellular Field. But the Indians seem unlikely to unseat him with the long ball.
Overall, I believe Peavy can sustain a successful campaign throughout the entire 2012 season. However, I wouldn't be surprised if he had some rough starts (like the one versus Detroit) a little more frequently as the year grinds on.
In his next start against Cleveland, I expect Peavy to continue what he's been doing all year and shut down the opposing offense.
We'll see where Peavy is by the end of the year, but he should be looking even better after this weekend.