This article was originally posted by Mark Johnson of the Morris Daily Herald.
Great night for the White Sox yesterday — they won their second straight series, and Jake Peavy's arm didn't fall off.
Peavy predictably didn't dominate in his first start of the season. He allowed 4 earned runs on 7 hits in 6 innings, striking out 4 and walking none. He didn't get the win but the Sox did, rallying to beat the Angels 6-4 in 10 innings. They're 4-2 on their current west coast road trip, but at 15-23, they're a long way from emerging from the hole they've dug themselves.
So what does Peavy's return mean for the Sox? Some, like Sox blogger and Morris native Ryan Wooden, wonder if the team will get a spark. Maybe — the Peavy that dominated the National League from 2004 to 2008 would help anyone. He wouldn't take away the Gordon Beckham 0-for-whatevers and the Matt Thornton meltdowns that have killed the 2011 Sox, but a top-notch starting pitcher gives even a bad baseball team a chance every fifth day. And I'm not yet convinced the Sox are a bad team.
That Peavy was younger, threw harder and hadn't gone through surgery to repair a detached latissimus dorsi. Can Peavy ever get back to being that type of pitcher? I doubt it myself, and I'd say it's close to impossible unless he reinvents himself. His stuff isn't the same as it was, so it will be up to Peavy to channel his inner Greg Maddux and rely on location and smarts more than he used to.
If I'm the Sox, I'm happy if Peavy stays reasonably healthy for an extended period and is a solid starter. If you're hoping for an ace, I'm afraid you're setting yourself up for heartbreak.
One interesting development from Peavy's return is that the Sox are using a 6-man rotation for the time being. Normally a 6-man rotation is something I'd be against, but it seems to fit here. The Sox don't have the clear-cut No. 1 and No. 2 whose turn you want to come up as much as possible, nor do they have the No. 5 you want to skip. Phil Humber, who's supposed to be the No. 5 (or No. 6), has been their best starter, and the Sox starter I'd probably most want on my team, John Danks, has been their worst. Until Humber delivers a stinker or two, I think the Sox are making a wise move.
This article was originally posted at http://www.morrisdailyherald.com/blogs/entries/2011/05/12/28606922/index.xml