BOSTON — Before Drew Pomeranz even took the mound Monday night, manager John Farrell noted that a six-inning outing from the Red Sox’s newest starting pitcher would be “ideal.”
And that’s exactly what Pomeranz gave his new club.
The final results weren’t there in Boston’s 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park, but Pomeranz’s performance was a bright spot, as he allowed just two runs on four hits while striking out seven batters.
It was a welcome turnaround from the 27-year-old’s Red Sox debut, which saw him allow five runs over three-plus innings against the San Francisco Giants. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and his staff knew they were getting a better pitcher than the one they saw in that outing, and Pomeranz proved as much Monday.
“He pitched as we had anticipated at the time of the trade,” Farrell said after the game. “… I thought (he had) a very good curveball (Monday night) compared to his last time out. A number of swing-and-misses to it. Unfortunately, the one pitch that cost us was the fastball that stayed up on the plate to (Jose) Iglesias. But he was very good, I thought, for the six innings of work.”
Pomeranz’s only blemish came when Iglesias deposited his fastball over the Green Monster for a two-run homer. Other than that, the All-Star lefty kept Detroit off-balance with a steady diet of off-speed pitches — namely his curveball, which Pomeranz threw 53 times out of 99 pitches, according to BrooksBaseball.net. Pomeranz generated 11 swings and misses on his deuce, which has become his most effective pitch this season.
“I had a good curveball (Monday night),” Pomeranz said after the game. “I was locating my fastball a lot better. I was in a lot better counts all night and really, I made one bad pitch that hurt us.”
Still, Pomeranz did plenty to keep Boston in the game, which is what the Red Sox hoped he could do when they acquired him to fill out the back end of their rotation. Farrell and Co. are well aware that the sixth-year veteran already has thrown more innings this season than any other, so they won’t be calling on Pomeranz to carry Boston late into games.
“(He’s) likely a six-inning pitcher,” Farrell said. “A chance to go deeper if the pitch count is a little bit shortened from what it was, but we don’t want to start him with an inning over or at 100 pitches.”
Boston’s quiet bats prevented Pomeranz from earning his first win as a Red Sox on Monday, but his overall success against a solid Tigers lineup is a good barometer of what fans should expect from the team’s newest acquisition going forward.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images