DETROIT -- For the first time in the ALCS, a starting pitcher had a disaster outing. Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy was unable to record an out after the third inning and left the game with his team down 6-0. He was ultimately charged with seven runs on Wednesday night.
"Yeah it was tough. I couldn't make a big pitch to limit the damage," said Peavy after the game, referring to the five runs the Tigers scored in the third inning. Seven of the first eight batters reached base in that inning, and one of the three outs was a gift on the neighborhood play at second base.
Peavy, uncharacteristically, created the jam himself with walks. After walking just 2.6 batters-per-nine innings (6.1-percent of batters faced) during the regular season, he walked three of the first five men he faced in that third inning, including Austin Jackson with the bases loaded on four pitches. Jackson was demoted to eighth in the lineup after coming into Game 4 with three hits (.091) and 18 strikeouts in 33 postseason at-bats.
"My sinker was really good tonight, I just had trouble throwing it where I needed to throw it," added Peavy. "You can't give guys free passes. I did that to start -- after the [leadoff single by Victor Martinez]."
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia pinned Peavy's command problems on being a little too amped up in a huge game. Following the walk to Jackson, the Tigers hit three consecutive hard-hit balls, including a two-run double down the left field line by Torii Hunter.
"We had a good gameplan going," Saltalamacchia said. "[He was] just a little too excited, overthrowing a bit. Stuff was there, just threw it over the plate too much."
Peavy's command problems manifested in two ways in Game 4. First he simply couldn't throw strikes -- "The ball was going too far south" -- and then he threw too many strikes. Too many strikes over the heart of the plate to be exact, which led to the base hits and the five runs in the third inning. It was the worst of both worlds.
"No excuse. It's on me," Peavy said. "I can promise you this: We'll be back tomorrow as a ball club, as a unit."