The Sox got a big win over the best team in baseball because of an awesome performance from Drew Pomeranz. After a rough go of things against Detroit, the lefty pitched with poise, confidence, and command until the middle of the 6th where his fastball command began to slip.
Pomeranz dominated the first time through the order, facing the minimum and only allowing a cheap infield single to Jose Altuve. He was efficient in addition, wrapping up the third inning having just thrown 40 pitches. Pomeranz was commanding everything well, occasionally missing high on arm-side fastballs that were supposed to stay low and away, but avoided the heart of the plate with all of his pitches. Once his pitch count got around the high 70’s, he couldn’t touch the zone, let alone his arm-side edge. Pomeranz was bailed out in part due to a boneheaded decision to send Springer home, which led to home being thrown out by a mile. Farrell would keep a blown up Pomeranz in long enough to serve up a spicy meatball to Brian McCann.
Pomeranz pitched better than his line indicated. He commanded everything well and avoided making the big mistakes. He threw the cutter sparingly, but when he did it looked good. He was able to use the curve as a get-ahead pitch and a change of pace pitch using its different shapes and putting it in different spots. He tried to get swing and misses a multitude of times, a few times in the beginning of counts, but only recorded one whiff with it all night. The Sox need this Pomeranz to stick around for a while.
1st time thru: 3 IP. 1 H, 2 K’s, 0 BBs, 2 K’s
2nd time thru: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
3rd time thru: .2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Final Line: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K’s, 1 HR; 97 pitches (60 strikes/37 balls)
Since I’m tired and Dave Meltzer is my leading journalistic inspiration, here’s a list of stray thoughts of mine from the game in bullet point form.
- Pomeranz used a curveball heavy approach against Jose Altuve.
- Pitchers continue to pound Mitch Moreland up and in with heat. Fiers missed over the middle with a fastball in the 3rd and Moreland took it the other way for an RBI single.
- I’ve noticed that Christian Vazquez lets a lot of really hittable pitches go by early in the count. He’s having a total fluke BABIP fueled year and needs to capitalize on those early mistakes if he has any hope of maintaining offensive relevance.
- Mike Fiers pitched really well tonight. A lot like Pomeranz, he commanded the edges with the fastball very well and avoided mistakes over the heart of the plate. While he had trouble putting his splitter where he wanted it, he was able to induce plenty of weak contact with it, racking up 13 ground outs. He worked in the low 90’s and continues on his impressive string of pretty good starts.
- The bullpen continues its stellar streak of performance, but as anyone paying should know, this team cannot rely on Matt Barnes High Leverage Reliever to keep this up for much longer. Same with Joe Kelly and his shiny 1.27 ERA. Kimbrel? Sure, he’s ridiculous. He could put up a sub 1.50, but he needs help, and with Thornburg out for the year and Smith coming off of Tommy John, an extra arm is needed.
- The comeback play sucks and no one should ever run it.
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