(KSDK Sports) -- Among the keys to success in the World Series is finding a way to limit the distractions so you can perform to the utmost of your abilities—to embrace the bigness, the spotlight, the power which comes with playing on baseball's biggest stage.
Talent aside, the World Series match up for Game 3 offers an interesting contrast between the two starting pitchers in how they go about that.
Jake Peavy is a 32-year old veteran of 12 Major League seasons, a former Cy Young Award winner, and attended his Friday press conference with his two younger sons joining him at the podium.
Joe Kelly is a 25-year old rookie who will be married this offseason. With "Joe Cool" among his nicknames, Kelly was recently in a stare-off during NLCS introductions, has been seen dancing in the outfield before games, and is regularly up to providing levity for the St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse. He did the same fielding questions during the press conference, where he addressed a few rumors on his athletic background.
"The windmill standing underneath is false, but I can definitely dunk from standing underneath by jumping straight up," answered Kelly to a question on his basketball skills. "I don't want to talk about dunking abilities, and that's probably not good. And I don't think the GM wants to hear that. I don't play basketball in the offseason, but, yes, I can dunk a basketball from very different parts of the court."
Kelly also shared of his practice of playing video games to relax the night before a start.
"I usually stay up playing video games all night, competitive gaming, more Call of Duty," said Joe. "You don't want to put too much emphasis and just mentally drain yourself of thinking, man, this is a huge start, and you have to go out there and perform. That's not the way to go about it, as I would take it. But, yeah, game day comes around; I'm definitely going to be locked in and ready to go."
"I think a lot of our guys are free in this clubhouse to kind of be themselves," discussed Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny, who believes Kelly takes his lead from Adam Wainwright.
"(Adam's) a guy that is not afraid to be himself. You see the crazy dancing. He has fun. But when it gets his turn to pitch, there's not a better competitor out there. And I think Joe Kelly has found a place here where he has the freedom to do the same. Because he's a funny guy. He enjoys life. He's all the time doing some things you wouldn't expect him to do. But when it comes down to pitching, he's ready to compete. He's a competitor.
"And you need that balance. You need that balance through the season in order to, one, you need to be yourself in order to be as effective as you can; and two, to be able to just make your way through a long season. You have to be able to find some levity. And Joe's been able to find that."
Peavy, on the other hand, is known for a more visible type of competiveness—which became evident as he previewed Saturday's start.
"Let's not sugarcoat anything, this is the biggest game up until this point in time that I've ever pitched," said Peavy. "We'd be silly to sit here and say otherwise. I've never been to this. This is why I play the game. This is why we all, I would like to think, play the game, is to be a world champion, is to be the best in the world at what you do at the highest level.
"And so to go out in a World Series game and have a chance to sway the odds, the favor, in your direction, on the road, with a team that's got some momentum with a big win at our place, of course. I think this is the biggest start in my career. That being said, that doesn't change anything for me. It doesn't -- I mean obviously you feel a little bit different, but once you get in the swing of the game tomorrow night, it will be another game and we'll get in the feel of it, just a little more intensity, a little more adrenaline from the fans and a little more hype around it."
"For those who have never seen him pitch or guys have never been in the box against him, it's certainly not directed at them," explained Boston Manager John Farrell. "It's how he continues to maintain a level of competitiveness to not slack off or to ask more of himself. The one thing I think he's done a very good job at the last probably three or four starts is creating an energy level in his delivery that doesn't take away from locating pitches. Inning No. 2 in Detroit, I thought he started to pitch a little too fine and maybe didn't trust his stuff enough, as was the case in the first inning. Game4 against Tampa, you know, I think he's understanding himself and what that level of energy in his delivery works best for him."
"Obviously I'm an emotional guy, but at the same time I'm 13 years into this, I'm excited as I ever will be for a start to go out there tomorrow," smiled Peavy. "But there's not going to be a situation that I get overwhelmed in and get too emotional and let the emotions of the moment beat me up. I just feel like I've been in enough situations over the years that there's nothing tomorrow night that's going to rattle me or get in my head, or it doesn't matter how loud the crowd is."
"It doesn't matter how bad things are going, it comes down to trying to execute pitches and be able to make tiny adjustments that make the biggest -- it takes getting some balls hit at people, and some guys making some plays and just getting in the rhythm of the game. Like I said, I think we all expect that to happen tomorrow night."
First pitch of Game 3 is set for Saturday night at 7:07pm (CT).