When Jake Peavy was traded from the Red Sox to the Giants five days before the deadline in 2014, he seamlessly fit in with a rotation led by Madison Bumgarner, who hardly let a start go by without staring down an opposing batter or umpire. Peavy, like Bumgarner, was well known for his fiery personality on the mound, and in catcher Buster Posey, he found a perfect battery mate.
Peavy was always complimentary of Posey during his three seasons with the Giants, and on Wednesday's Giants Talk Podcast, he talked about what stood out. He said Posey's demeanor "was everything," comparing his quiet confidence to fellow multi-time All-Star Yadier Molina.
"Buster had the ability -- in very big situations, no matter where you were and how loud things were -- to talk in a very calm, composed manner. You need that," Peavy said. "For the most part, most athletes are like Jake Peavy and they're very easily excited and emotional. When you have a battery mate that can suck that out of you and get you to think and execute, to me that's Buster's -- and Buster is a Hall of Fame player across the board -- but I think that's his biggest strength."
Peavy has been back home in Alabama since last pitching for the Giants in 2016, helping to revitalize downtown Mobile while also working on his music and charity. The Peavy Family Foundation is taking part in March Greatness, which allows people to fill out a bracket and play in honor of their favorite charity.
Peavy's foundation focuses on promoting sports, music, the arts and financial literacy programs for young people. Over the last year, his primary focus has been on his hometown.
"We have organizations in San Francisco we're working with and in Boston, but I've really in the last year understood now more than ever that community is everything," he said. "The community you're living in, and that for me has been Mobile, Alabama."
Peavy hasn't been able to get out to San Francisco recently because of the pandemic, but he's still close with some former teammates and coaches, most notably Bruce Bochy and Tim Flannery, who also had him in San Diego. They all got a ring together in 2014 that was clinched in part because Peavy and Posey were able to work through some tough lineups in the season's biggest spots.
Peavy made four starts that October, with his best performance coming in Game 1 of the NLDS, when he threw 5 2/3 shutout innings against the Nationals. That was the only series in which the Giants didn't rely heavily on Bumgarner, who got outdueled in Game 3 but then went on a historic run that ended with Bumgarner looking in at Posey and calmly getting through a chaotic final inning in Kansas City.
"Those championships were no accident," Peavy said. "Without Buster Posey, they're not there. Buster is simply that important to all three of those championships, I believe."