Wins, innings piling up for now healthy Drew Pomeranz
Conventional wisdom holds that the Red Sox have a Big Three in their starting rotation of Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price.
And then there’s Drew Pomeranz, who just keeps on winning.
The lefty improved his record to 10-4 in pitching the Red Sox to a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays last night at Fenway Park, joining Sale (11-4) as the only pitcher with a double-digit win total. And in allowing just one run, he lowered his ERA to 3.51.
But the best number of all? That would be 62/3, as in the number of innings Pomeranz was able to give the Red Sox despite issuing five walks. The Sox bullpen was somewhat depleted going into last night’s game, this being the aftermath of Tuesday’s 15-inning, 5-4 victory over the Jays that spilled into early yesterday morning.
“To work deep into this ballgame, and (for us) to stay away from some guys that were down tonight, both (Matt) Barnes and (Brandon Workman) .?.?. Drew has been outstanding,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He’s on a pretty substantial run of quality starts, giving ourselves a chance to win, and we’ve responded well when he’s been on the mound.”
Said Pomeranz: “It’s always a personal goal of mine to stay in the game longer. I’ve been pitching well but I’ve been going six innings. I’d like to get a little further, a little deeper, into the game. Having that goal helps everyone else out, helps the bullpen out.”
As recently as spring training, Pomeranz was something of a question mark for the Red Sox. He admitted as much himself, telling reporters after last night’s game, “I really didn’t know what to expect coming into the season. I didn’t feel great in spring training. I started the season I felt good enough, not great. I think I was struggling mechanically a little bit.”
It doesn’t hurt — no pun intended — that his once-troublesome left elbow isn’t troubling him any more, which helps explain why he’s going deeper into his starts.
“You have to go back to the physical state of Drew,” Farrell said. “He’s much more sound. He dealt with some things last year — he demonstrated a high pain threshold (when he was pitching.) There were times last year you’d get an extended offensive inning and, yup, had to be careful with him how long that would be.
“That’s no longer an issue,” said Farrell. “It starts with the health .?.?. we’re getting a guy that’s much more confident than at any other time than he’s be in our uniform. You’re almost counting on six innings, and then you get into the seventh inning, and those are things he didn’t do last year.”