(Reuters) - Brad Peacock started spring training unsure whether he would even make the Houston pitching roster but on Friday he played a key role in helping the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 in Game Three of the World Series.
Peacock came out of the bullpen in the sixth inning and never left, his 3 2/3 innings earning him the first save of his career and matched the second-longest World Series save since the statistic was introduced into Major League Baseball in 1969.
Only San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner has produced a longer save -- five innings -- in Game Seven of the 2014 World Series against Kansas City.
“I’ve never been locked in like that, ever, out there pitching,” the 29-year-old right-hander from Florida said.
Peacock said he had no thoughts of pitching out the game when he was brought in and said he was surprised when manager A.J. Hinch asked him if he wanted to go back out for the eighth.
“I‘m shocked. I‘m just glad he gave me the opportunity to do that,” he added. “I was ready for anything tonight. This is awesome man. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
Peacock relied overwhelmingly on his fastball, delivering 47 of them and just six sliders.
He struck out four, did not give up a hit, and issued only one walk.
Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts recognized Peacock’s impact.
“He had really good fastball command,” Roberts told reporters. “He got ahead (in the count) and we couldn’t square him up. We really didn’t have great at-bats against him.”
Hinch said when Peacock got going there was no reason to lift him.
“He was the right guy at the right spot against that part of the order,” Hinch said.
“We felt like his strengths matched up against some places we want to exploit in the strike zone ... And there’s no reason to take him out. He was in complete control of every at-bat. So why not leave him in?“It wasn’t mapped out this way. It could have gone completely different.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina