Jake Peavy is just starting to throw again as he comes back from a fractured rib, so it’s a moot point for now, but the White Sox right-hander made it very clear yesterday that he doesn’t want to be traded.
Chicago is in last place at 32-43, so the White Sox shopping various veterans would make sense if things don’t turn around in a hurry, but here’s what Peavy told Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago:
I’ll just tell you that I don’t want that to happen, that I want to pitch here in Chicago and I want games I pitch in to be meaningful and for us to get back in the thick of things. Do I think that can happen? Absolutely. But we have to shore things up, take it day by day and win. I do understand the possibility of being moved if I am healthy or I’m not healthy. And that’s something that I leave up to the hands of Rick Hahn and his staff and I will do all I’m asked really.
If he can show that he’s healthy by the July 31 deadline Peavy would look awfully nice in a lot of contending rotations, but his being signed for next season at $14.5 million also complicates things. Peavy got off to a fantastic start, throwing 61 innings with a 2.97 ERA and 63/15 K/BB ratio through late May, but then he turned in back-to-back rough outings and suffered the rib injury. He’s due back shortly after the All-Star break.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.