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Jake Peavy

Peavy impressive in M.L. Debut
Despite loss, rookie not intimidated by Yankees
By Sandy Burgin /

Jake Peavy, making his major league debut, pitches against the Yankees in the third inning. (Denis Poroy/AP)

SAN DIEGO -- For the second day in a row a Padres rookie pitcher walked off the mound to a thunderous standing ovation at Qualcomm Stadium.
While the 21-year-old Jake Peavy got the cheers from Major League Baseball's biggest crowd of the season, 60,021, he wasn't able to do what Oliver Perez did Friday night--tip his hat.

Perez left Friday night's game after 6 2/3 innings with the Padres leading, 3-1. Peavy left in the top of the seventh Saturday with a runner on second no outs and the Padres trailing, 1-0.

Unfortunately, Peavy wound up losing his Major League debut, 1-0 as Ted Lilly spun a complete-game three-hit shutout striking out a career high 11 as the Yankees evened the best-of-three series at a game apiece.

One of those three hits was a bloop single by Peavy in the fifth inning as that ball was thrown back into the dugout as Peavy got his first Major League hit.

"It was a tough one to lose when you get that type of pitching," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "Peavy did a great job. He had good stuff, he had his command, his composure, he looked very determined. He could have caved in that first inning with the leadoff double but we made a big play to get (Jason) Giambi at third. He settled down and went on to pitch a terrific game." Peavy said he was going to go right after the Yankees and he went right after Yankee leadoff batter Alfonso Soriano, who lined Peavy's first Major League pitch for a double down the left field line.

"I did let my nerves get a little of the best of me in that first inning," Peavy said. "And the bottom line I didn't execute pitches in that inning. I knew I had to get back to executing pitches and I was able to do that for the middle part of the game and keep us in the ball game." After giving up the leadoff double to Soriano, Peavy came back and struck out Derek Jeter. However, Jason Giambi drove a ball to the rightfield fence driving home Soriano.

When Padres centerfielder Mark Kotsay slipped retrieving the ball, Giambi headed for third, but Kotsay's throw was on the money to D'Angelo Jimenez, who tagged out Giambi.

Peavy got Bernie Williams to bounce out to first to end the inning and retired 12 batters in a row. He allowed just two walks over the next six innings before giving up a leadoff double to Williams.

At that point Bochy came to get Peavy, who left to the cheers of the fans after allowing just three hits, walking two and striking out four.

"It was the best feeling of my life when I walked off the field today to that standing ovation," Peavy said. "It was awesome, it's the only words I can describe it. The 12:20 start was key for me. I was able to get up this morning, have a good breakfast and really not sit around and think about what was going to happen. Having Wiki (Gonzalez) behind the plate and some veteran guys who talked to me before about executing pitches and that's what I focused on. I was able to block out the crowd for the most part and do my game."

What about his hit?

"How lucky can you be?" Peavy asked. "I could hardly feel my right hand at that time."

Peavy said that watching Perez the night before helped.

"Seeing how composed he was and seeing a young guy do well, it's fun to watch," Peavy said. "I was happy for Oliver. But as far as helping what I'm going to do against those guys it doesn't help."

Peavy said he had 15 to 20 family and relatives on hand, who were posing for pictures with No. 44 after the game.

"It's an awesome experience," Peavy said, "I've lived my whole life to do what I did today." Peavy said. "It's just a good experience, but we lost the ball game and that's what matters here wins and loses."

That may be, but Bochy says that Peavy is here to stay for a while.

"The kid didn't seem in awe of anything," Bochy said. "He pitched with a lot of confidence. A kid coming out of Double-A and going up against that lineup is very impressive.

"I told him that this is not a one shot deal," Bochy added. "We feel he's going

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