Jake Peavy not only has experience pitching in the National League from his days with the San Diego Padres, he appreciates being able to take his cuts at the plate. Pitchers come to the plate in interleague games at National League parks.
“I love that style of game in the National League,” Peavy said. “I love the pitcher being an integral part of the game -- you’re being an athlete and having a chance to impact the game. If you practice being better than the other guy, it’s one advantage you have over the other starting pitcher. That’s a big reason I felt I had one more advantage.”
Tuesday night will be a marquee matchup of sorts with Peavy facing former White Sox farmhand Gio Gonzalez. A Chris Sale-Stephen Strasburg matchup would have turned even more heads, but both pitchers won’t take the mound in the series.
“Hitting against Gio is another thing; Gio is an outstanding talent,” Peavy said. “We have our work cut out for us Tuesday night. It will be fun, first road trip of the year, guys excited to get out. We’re going to rent us a room Monday night and watch the (NCAA) national championship game. That will be good for the team, then get us some rest.”
As the debate continues as to whether both leagues should either have the designated hitter, or both should let the pitcher bat, manager Robin Ventura thinks it’s all wasted breath.
“I like that it's different; there's room for both,” Ventura said. “The DH has kept a lot of players that couldn't play defense that are good hitters still; they get to extend their careers. I think there's a part of the National League game, having played in the National League, that it's fun. It creates a different thing for bench players that wouldn't happen in the American League. They get a little more action in the National League than the American League, but I think there's room for both.”
Ventura’s strategy skills are sure to be tested with pinch-hitting decisions and double-switch possibilities.
“You watch the National League and you watch the double switches, you watch how many players on the bench get used as opposed to here, it's pretty black and white,” Peavy said. “Very rarely do we ever pinch hit. In the National League, there are a lot of moving parts every night and the managers can really impact a game with what moves they make and when.
“The game's a little bit different. I'm sure Robin will tell you the same thing, going into these National League parks. Double switching and all that stuff, you've really got to be on top of your game to manage in the National League, and I’m sure Robin will tell you that as well.”
After the three-game series against the Nationals this week, the White Sox won’t have another interleague series until May 7-8 when they travel to New York to face the Mets. They play the Cubs in back-to-back two-game series May 27-28 at U.S. Cellular Field and May 29-30 at Wrigley Field.