Oct. 11: Jake Peavy NLCS interview

Oct. 11: Jake Peavy NLCS interview

THE MODERATOR: Okay. We'll take questions for Jake Peavy.

Q. Jake, when you were traded to the Giants because of your relationship with Bruce Bochy, did it feel sort of like coming home again?

JAKE PEAVY: You know, it did. It was very surreal. It was a tough day because, you know, although you know you're getting traded to a good situation, it's tough leaving where you've been. And especially with what had happened in Boston the previous year, the relationship I had with the players there.

And I don't care, I've said this numerous times and this is the truth, any ballplayer that tells you that he wants to leave Boston, I'm going to question. That's a special place, so no ballplayer in their right mind wants to leave that place.

So it's bittersweet when it's happening. Then you get out to your new home. It becomes reality and you go, "Gosh, man, I'm playin' for this man again." You're seeing Tim Flannery. I'm sitting in Boch's office every now and then, just getting the feel for things and giving him the insight that I have on the guys in the room.

It's a special relationship that we have, and I couldn't ask for anything more, to be honest with you. Yeah, it's a great fit.

Q. Jake, question for you. The long scope of your career, now that you've thrown multiple playoff games, a World Series game, Game 1 of the last series, how have you been able to modify your approach? Because as a younger player, you used to get so "hopped up" for those games, and probably you seem to be more under control now than you used to be. Is it experience, getting older? What's the adjustment pattern?

JAKE PEAVY: The more you do something, the more comfortable you get in that situation. And certainly I had a few opportunities early in my career when I really -- I look back on that in '05, I didn't stand a chance there, because I had some health injuries, issues there.

Then in '06, I got a chance to face the Cardinals again.

And in 2007, I threw in that play-in game in Colorado, you throw out.

Up until last year, I had never really gotten an opportunity to pitch with the knowledge that I think I have now, as opposed to do what I did when you're talking about, almost 10 years ago in those starts.

And that start? Tampa last year in the [ALDS], things slowed down. I was able to really be under control and make good pitches. And I learned a lot by being on the road there, them cowbells.

And people don't think about Tampa being a crazy place. Go down when Boston and Tampa [are] playing in the playoffs. You can't hear yourself think because of the cowbells.

I grew up a lot. The start in Detroit got away from me, but we had to battle here in the World Series after going down, 2-0. So I think that experience, and being in so many different situations and getting your rear end kicked early in your career, then being in the situations that I was in last year throughout the playoffs, being in a tough situation, letting it get away from me in Detroit.

But pitching well and my team winning in the NLDS, fighting here and going down early and getting out of a bases-loaded jam to keep my team in the game. In all those different situations, you learn a little bit about yourself and what it takes to be successful.

I try to take all that knowledge in with me tomorrow, be under control. I'll be fiery. I will be emotional, but I will be under control. As a game plan in place, we got our work cut out for us. This Cardinals team is such a professional team. But, yeah, I feel as good as ever with what I will go out and try to do tomorrow.

Q. Jake, can you take me from Boston to San Francisco and the uptick in performance? What happened and why?

JAKE PEAVY: Yeah, I've gotten that question a lot. Things just happened to click. I got back with some familiar faces. I want to say this in the right way, because I think I've said it and people -- I'm with people now who believe in me in a special way. When I say I'm with people now who believe in me, and in Boch. He believes in me like my high school coach believed in me, if that makes sense.

That's not saying that people in Boston didn't believe in me. But it was a different feeling when I would take the mound there. I forgot what that feeling was like. Getting back with Boch, and these guys really needed somebody to help out at the time that I got over there. Boch and these guys believed that I could be that guy. When you are shown that faith in you, you want to exhaust every option. So that really can fuel a fire.

But just that alone can't make you turn your season around. You have to find some things mechanically and I did. I got with Dave Righetti, and Rags had saw me as a young kid and watched me so many times when I was young and on track, so to speak, that he wanted to do just a couple of things, like I did back then.

He was like, "Man, can you do this?" after the surgery, and we tweaked just a few things. It really wasn't anything major, but it's made a world of difference.

And also, our catcher is a special player. Buster Posey is a unique individual and a unique player, I think, as you all know. When you find the right chemistry and groove with a good player like that, who cares and plays that position, it can take your game to another level. And he can get the most out of you. I also think that's been a huge part of the reason we've had as much success as we have had.

Q. Jake, I think I asked you this question last year, too. At the Trade Deadline, there was talk about possibly coming to St. Louis. That talk came up again this year. This year, were you thinking it might happen again?

JAKE PEAVY: You know, I did. I thought it was really close, to be honest with you. About a week or so before the actual deal happened with Boston, I thought that I could possibly come here.

That being said, you guys got a -- one of my dear, dear friends, and somebody I love in John Lackey, and you got to love handing him the ball, too, in postseason play, especially.

But, yeah, St. Louis is a place I've always spoke fondly of. This place is, it's a great place. There is nothing that -- other than I guess some of the protests happening downtown, it's an unfortunate situation, other than that, this place is near and dear to my heart. It's a great baseball town, it's a great situation, and to do what this team has done, four straight NLCS, that's getting it done.

When anybody thinks they might have a chance to play in St. Louis or that name gets mentioned, you get excited because, once again, you associate St. Louis with winning, and that's what we all want to do, especially late in our career.

Q. Can you share --

JAKE PEAVY: Bad contacts (Laughter).

Q. Can you share your approach about tomorrow's game, this Cardinals lineup, and what you expect to do to keep them off balance?

JAKE PEAVY: Yeah, I can't dive in too much there, but I've been through this lineup, seen more of Carpenter's at-bats than I probably want to see. I'll see some more before we really nail down the game plan.

But we've watched these guys up and down. They're a lot like us. This team is a bunch of grinders, a bunch of professional at-bats that are going to have -- I mean, you saw the way they grinded out at-bats against Zack Greinke, against Kershaw, and what they were able to do as a group.

I think this St. Louis team does a lot of what we did as a lineup in Boston last year. Doesn't try to do too much. Tries to hand it to the next guy and just wear you down. And always ready for the mistake, because they're going to give you a professional at bat, 1 through 8, 1 through 9 with Lance Lynn swinging the bat as well as he can.

I got a lot of work ahead of me. I think we have a good game plan set in place, and it's just going to come down to executing that tomorrow night and trying to get them to hit some balls at people.

Q. Lance Lynn has had a lot of regular-season successes certainly this year, but he doesn't always get mentioned among the top pitchers within the game. What's the view of him?

JAKE PEAVY: I know I came here in 2000. I don't know, maybe last year or the year before, they all run together at times, and I know this guy beat me, 1-0. I know Lance Lynn, know him very well, and I can vividly recall that game. Paul Konerko off Jason Motte, grounding into a double play late in that game and us losing, 1-0.

It was the first time I had seen Lance Lynn pitch in person, and using an explosive fastball, and guys that I thought were good fastball hitters weren't able to get to it. He's a special, special arm.

Once again, Lance is fairly young, but he's been with the St. Louis Cardinals, he's been in these situations before. That experience, I'm sure he's going to give us all we can handle tomorrow night.

And at the end of the day, this is what I love about this series. This is two teams that show up today. If you went and asked man for man, the guys in that clubhouse and the guys in our clubhouse, man for man, these guys expect to win. They're not "hoping" to win. They expect to win.

And I'm sure it's going to be no different. You ask Lance tomorrow night, he expects to find a way to get the Cardinals to get in the win column. I don't care how. I expect tomorrow night to help my ballclub beat the St. Louis Cardinals, and we're going to have our hands full with Lance Lynn, that's for sure.

Q. Are there ways in which Boch has changed since your first stint with him?

JAKE PEAVY: You know, I think he has. Boch is as good as anybody in game. There is not going to be a situation arise that we're not ready for. I've already been in Boch's office today watching video of different kinds of defenses and how we're going to handle certain stuff. This man is on top of things.

What I love about Boch is we're not going to be caught by surprise. He understands, but he's not afraid to take a chance or two and roll the dice and maybe not make the play that's black and white.

Boch, how have you changed over the years? They're asking me. He's gotten older, grayer -- 

BRUCE BOCHY: (standing in the room): Better lookin'!

JAKE PEAVY: Yeah. At the end of the day, I will say this with him in the room: Skipper gets the guys to be in the moment, to realize what's at stake. And the guys in that room know that this man has their back and is in it with them. He's in it with them.

He's going to live and die and take a loss as hard as we take it. When you know that, the guys want to die for the guy they're playing for. When you can get that out of your guys, you're doin' something, especially when you talk about grown men.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Jake.