When the White Sox signed up for two more years of Jake Peavy's pitching, they also received two more years of Peavy speaking from the gut.
The good news -- it's a lot easier to consider when he's producing for an entire season.
In this case, he talked to Chuck Garfien about the reason why the Sox gave the AL Central to the Detroit Tigers:
What happened down the stretch?
Jake Peavy knows. It was the pressure.
Did it get to them?
"There's no doubt," Peavy said in an interview with Comcast SportsNet. "I think you could sense over the last few months that we weren't playing the best in the world, and you expected at that point in time that when you're in first place going into September you can't play with this, 'We've got nothing to lose attitude.' We do. We've got everything to lose, and that pressure takes that freeness away from you when you're expected to perform. I think us as a whole, I think we all have to take responsibility. It just didn't work out."
I can see why Peavy believes this. A lot of his general approach to baseball is based on attitude, grit and gumptions, so it should be expected that he'd give the intangibles plenty of weight.
I also can't say that Peavy is wrong-wrong, because pressure is pretty much an impossible variable to extract from all the other evidence. It's the same problem as trying to find real proof of clutchness, except from the other side. The Sox went 2-10 over their last 12 days in contention, ergo the pressure was too much. For a lot of people, this is as much thought as they care to give it. Case closed!
Ruminations on Jake Peavy's pressure premise
South Side Sox | Jan 31