Brandon Snyder recalls the first time he faced Jake Peavy. He took a ball and Peavy began screaming on the mound. Snyder stepped out confused and a bit shaken.

“I was like ‘Whoa’ ” Snyder recalled. “My buddy was actually catching him. ‘Is he yelling at me?’ And he’s like ‘No no no. He’s not.’ ”

It turns out that self-flagellation is one of the more entertaining pieces of the Peavy package and it was on full display last night in his outstanding Red Sox debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Mild-mannered and polite off the field — Peavy told a number of amusing anecdotes during Thursday’s introductory press conference including that he’s legally blind and that he once had to convince teammate Chris Sale that walking MVP Miguel Cabrera wasn’t a sign of weakness — he’s as competitive as they come on it.

That outwardly manifests itself in the running diatribe he directs at himself throughout a game as if he’s Haley Joel Osment berating the spirit of Bruce Willis that no one else can see.

The fiery Peavy began hollering almost from the first pitch and he didn’t stop until he had silenced the visitors in a 5-2 victory allowing just four hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings.
“It’s a breath of fresh air” manager John Farrell said. “Just raw competitive spirit. It’s new to us much like Koji (Uehara) was at the beginning of the year. Guys take note and they appreciate just his 100 percent competitive spirit. It’s great.”

For the hitters who’ve faced him before it was no surprise.

“I used to enjoy the (expletive) out of it” said DH David Ortiz. “That’s how he pumps himself up. It used to pump me up too. He’s not trying to show anybody up or embarrass anybody.”

Peavy was particularly demonstrative in the second after walking Martin Prado and then again when he retired Jason Kubel to end the frame. Peavy said he tries to keep it rated PG because he’s a father and role model “but I’m not going to tell you all the time that it is.”

“He’s (expletive) himself” Ortiz said. “I swear to God. He’s just (expletive) himself. He’s a great dude. When he makes a mistake is when you see him getting mad at himself because he knows he’s good and he knows he can do it better.”