Giants right-hander Jake Peavy sat down in the interview room at Kauffman Stadium on Monday flanked by two impromptu guests, his sons Wyatt and Judson, who had been allowed to make the trip from San Francisco to Kansas City to see the end of the World Series.
“I haven’t done any of my homework,” one said.
“You most certainly have,” his father replied.
But the elder Peavy, admittedly, is excited too. He gets the start tonight against the Royals with a chance to pitch the Giants, who lead the series 3-2, to a World Series title.
“At the end of the day, this is the start that you play your whole career for,” Peavy said. “It’s hard to get away from that fact.”
Peavy won a ring last year with the Boston Red Sox, but he made just one appearance in that six-game World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals and was knocked out of his Game 3 start in the fifth inning, getting a no-decision.
Peavy took the loss in Game 2 of this series, allowing four runs on six hits in five innings in the Royals’ 7-2 win. Most of the damage came in a five-run sixth inning after Peavy had exited the game, and he said he felt he’d actually settled in around the third inning after struggling to find his fastball and cutter command early on.
He attributed that partly to an extended break between starts, something that will be less of a factor on Tuesday with Peavy pitching on five days’ rest.
“You can get out there and feel a lot stronger; your arm feels better than it has in quite some time because of extra rest. Sometimes that can lead to not being quite as sharp,” Peavy said. “I felt too good simply because of the rest I was able to get.”
Still, Peavy has yet to complete six innings in any of his eight career postseason starts. And after Madison Bumgarner’s complete game in the Giants’ 5-0 win in Game 5, and an off day for travel Monday, manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants have plenty of options should Peavy falter early.
“Hopefully that’s not the case, but the bullpen is well-rested,” Bochy said. “(Yusmeiro) Petit, Timmy (Lincecum), they’re all fresh, ready to go. ... Then you get to this point where if you need to use (Ryan Vogelsong) or something, he could help you out.”
Bochy has shown a willingness to manage aggressively in a potential clinch scenario before. In Game 6 of the 2010 National League Championship Series, he took starter Jonathan Sanchez out after two innings and used five more pitchers to close out a 3-2 win, including starters Lincecum and Bumgarner.
Bumgarner threw 117 pitches in his four-hit shutout Sunday. But afterward, he said he planned to make himself available in relief for the rest of the series, and Bochy didn’t even rule Bumgarner out of a short appearance in Game 6.
“He really bounces back well,” Bochy said. “We wouldn’t ask him to do a lot, but if I needed to get an out or something, I’m sure he’ll say he’s available.”
Peavy could nullify all that with a long outing. He admitted Monday he “can’t imagine anything sweeter” than to be the winning pitcher in the clinching game of the World Series.
After the Red Sox won their title in 2013, Peavy infamously bought one of Boston’s signature duck boats. He was asked Monday if he might do something similar were the Giants to win the Series this year, and said he had “kicked around some options on some memorabilia possibly to take home to commemorate this, if we are fortunate enough to make it happen.”
Wyatt Peavy then interjected: “I think we already picked out our trolley car.”