By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — On May 20 in Oakland, Drew Pomeranz looked irredeemable. After a frustrating outing in which he threw 97 pitches in just four innings against the A’s – and had a curious dugout confrontation with manager John Farrell – it appeared that Pomeranz had bottomed out.
But since that ugly afternoon in Oakland, the big lefty has spent his last two starts rebounding in a big way. He’s 2-0 in his last two starts, allowing three runs on 11 hits in 13 innings. He’s compiled a whopping 19 strikeouts against just one walk in that span.
Pomeranz pitched more than six innings for the first time all season in Chicago on Wednesday night, allowing just one run while striking out eight and walking none. He scattered seven hits over his seven innings, letting no baserunners advance past second base after the third inning.
Perhaps most importantly, Pomeranz needed just 108 pitches to get through his previously unfathomable seven innings. He’s averaged 15.7 pitches per inning in his last two starts, compared to 19.1 pitches per inning in his first eight starts of the season. He’s also thrown a higher percentage of strikes, with a 67 percent rate in his last two outings compared to 62 percent in his first eight.
Pomeranz commented on how good he’s felt on the mound in his past two outings when he spoke to reporters after the game in Chicago.
“[Wednesday] was kind of a continuation of the last one, to be honest,” said Pomeranz (via MLB.com). “I felt pretty good with four pitches out there. I worked all week on just repeating what I did the start before, and tried to bring it into this start. I actually felt better this time than the last one, which is nice.”
Farrell was pleased with what he saw – certainly more so than what he saw in Oakland.
“He was outstanding,” said Farrell of Pomeranz. “On a night we needed a starter to go deep, he did just that.”
Farrell added that Pomeranz’s last two starts have been a “significant step forward.”
It’s unclear whether Pomeranz’s little dust-up with Farrell had anything to do with his sudden improvement in the two starts since. It’s even less clear whether he can keep this up for an extended length of time. But facts are facts, and it’s indisputable that Pomeranz has been better and more efficient since that drudgery in Oakland.
Now let’s see if he can keep it going for more than just two outings.
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.