Better off in the pen? Boy, was I wrong about that.
After throwing 97 pitches to get through four innings that afternoon in Oakland on May 20, Pomeranz had a 4.97 ERA and 1.47 WHIP through eight starts. The confrontation with manager John Farrell wasn’t good, and he was also blasted on Twitter for his perceived lack of hustle on a play in the same game.
Fans seemed to be losing patience with Pomeranz by that point—likely still upset at the home run he allowed to Coco Crisp in last year’s ALDS as well. He was struggling to give the Red Sox solid, consistent innings as a starter, and just appeared to be the latest mediocre and over-hyped acquisition by general manager Dave Dombrowski.
But since that start against the Athletics, it’s been a completely different story for the 28-year-old.
In 15 starts since May 20, Pomeranz is 9-1 with a 2.62 ERA and 1.28 WHIP while pitching at least six innings in 11 of those starts. That’s something he did just seven times in his first 21 starts for the Red Sox since being acquired on July 14 of last year.
Yesterday afternoon against the Yankees in the Bronx was the latest chapter in Pomeranz’s breakout campaign. He allowed three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings to win his sixth straight decision and improve to 12-4 on the year. Boston won the game 10-5.
Pomeranz currently has a 3.39 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and .255 BAA across 127 1/3 innings of work.
As of right now, Pomeranz is on pace to have a higher ERA, WHIP, and BAA than he did all of last year. But remember, most of his success in 2016 came pitching for the San Diego Padres. No pressure there. He was 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA in 17 starts before Boston picked him up in exchange for pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza, and the league change—as well as the expectations pitching for the Red Sox comes with—seemed to have an effect on his performance.
Now, it doesn’t seem to be a problem. That’s why I consider this to be Pomeranz’s breakout year because it’s the first time he’s been a full-time starter for a contending/large market team. He started off slowly, but he’s bounced back. He’s living up to the hype that he wasn’t initially, and has quietly become a cornerstone in Boston’s rotation.
The next scheduled start for Pomeranz will be this Friday night at home against the Yankees. In three starts against them on the season, he’s 2-0 with a 4.08 ERA.