Peavy - ‘They can talk all they want to talk ... ‘

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ARLINGTON, Texas – It was bound to happen.

Jake Peavy expected it, and on Tuesday was even welcoming it – albeit defiantly.

“Anytime you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, you know … I mean I didn’t hear all these critics talking last year when I did what I did after about the same amount of starts that I’ve made this year, 3-0 with a low ERA, nobody was talking then,” Peavy said before the start of the Texas series. “But certainly when you have failure you’re going to have people jump out and say, ‘We saw this coming … ‘ That stuff doesn’t matter a thing to me. They can talk all they want to talk. I’m going to get things going and that’s the bottom line.

“I just hope now that it’s sooner than later. We’re working every day to get things going. I’m going to contribute, that’s the bottom line.”

The way Peavy sees it, it can’t get any worse.

Through his first four starts this season, the expected ace of the staff was 0-1 with a 7.66 ERA. A far cry from the 3-0 record and 1.35 ERA he had in three starts with the Sox at the end of last season.

The collateral damage of that? Peavy critics flocking to break down his problems on talk shows, with a constant reminder that he is now in the American League, where lineups give pitchers very few moments to breath.

While Peavy has never disputed the fact that life in the National League was made easier with most of the lineups there having soft spots, he wasn’t about to deem 2010 a disaster just yet. Not when he finally feels that he is on to something.

“I mean if you go look at my delivery at the start of last year to what it was before my last start [against Tampa Bay], I mean it doesn’t look like the same guy,” Peavy explained. “A big part of that is my legs. For some reason I quit using my legs. It’s pretty easy to think why.”

Actually, going back to last June 13 was why.

That’s when Peavy was put on the disabled list by the Padres because of a strained tendon in his right ankle.

“I mean my ankle was hurt and I pitched three or four games with it in San Diego – probably took my legs right out of the equation subconsciously because I was injured,” Peavy continued. “Then when I came back I was probably favoring my legs, not wanting to drive off my backside and get out toward home plate. When I came over here [in a deadline trade] and was doing that, [pitching coach Don Cooper] and those guys didn’t have anything to go off of.

“We all just discovered this delivery when was were watching some past outings. The tough thing about it is I’ve been repeating this delivery since Feb. 10, thinking this is me, this is who I am. The other night [in the start against the Rays], I certainly felt awkward. But that was my normal delivery. That’s what I had been doing for years, but I’ve been practicing the wrong way for two and a half months. When you get comfortable with something else, I mean from arm angle to dropping and driving. I mean we’re talking about almost a foot difference with my arm angle. Those things lead to inconsistency.”

They’ve also led to Peavy spending the last week playing long toss and throwing bullpen sessions, constantly reminding himself to keep his lower-body mechanics intact.

“The stuff I will take the mound with [Wednesday night], having more life on my pitches, will help me turn that corner,” Peavy said.

And to Peavy, that’s all that matters right now.

The critics? Well, his attitude is let them do what they do best.

“I want to be that pitcher that people have seen in the past,” he added. “I don’t have added pressure, because every fifth day is a big day for me.”

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