CHICAGO – Despite losing out to Texas pitcher Yu Darvish in the Final Vote to make the American League All-Star team, Jake Peavy still gets to punch his ticket to Kansas City.
Peavy was named to the AL All-Star squad Sunday, replacing Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson who was ruled out of the game with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. The All-Star honor is the third of Peavy’s 11-year career and his first appearance since 2007 with the San Diego Padres, the same year he won the National League Cy Young award.
“Fantastic for him; we’re happy for him, he deserves it,” Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said.
Peavy left during the Sox’s 11-9 loss to catch a flight to Colorado to attend today’s funeral of his close friend and former Padres bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds. He will make it to Kansas City in time for Tuesday’s All-Star Game, joining teammates Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and Chris Sale.
Peavy has a 7-5 record this season with a 2.85 ERA. He ranks in the top 10 among AL pitchers in strikeouts (108), innings pitched (120), opponents’ batting average (.213) and WHIP (0.99).
“It just shows how hard he worked for it and how much he really competes out there,” Sale said. “It’s been a heck of year up to this point. Like I said before, we all knew he deserved to be there, and he’s finally getting what he deserves.”
Tough trip awaits: While the Sox are headed into the All-Star break atop the division, they’ll be tested immediately after the second half begins.
The Sox hit the road for 16 of their next 19 games that include 10 straight away from U.S. Cellular Field. The good news is their 23-16 road record is one of the best in the AL.
“I guess the good news is we get four days to kind of get ready for it, pack, get your mind straight,” Konerko said. “But yeah, long road trips are not fun or a lot of road games aren’t fun at any time during the season. But we’ve played pretty well on the road this year. We’ll just take it as it comes.”
All-Star excitement: For Konerko, a six-time All-Star, the excitement hasn’t waned when it comes to the Midsummer Classic.
Konerko said he’s always happy to go – though nothing beats the first All-Star Game experience – and considers it an honor whenever he makes it.
“As a kid, I remember watching it every year; to be in that game, it’s kind of neat,” Konerko said. “Now, I have kids and they can come see it and that’s the second part of it. It’s all good. You enjoy yourself. I try to be ready to play when I go there.”