BOSTON (CBS) — Drew Pomeranz needed a whopping 123 pitches just to get through five innings on Tuesday night against the Yankees. Adam Jones and Nick Cattles followed along during the show and took issue with John Farrell’s decision to leave the lefty in for such an astronomically high pitch count.
Pomeranz struck out the Yankees’ Matt Holliday with a curveball, his 123rd pitch of the game, to barely escape the fifth inning of the Red Sox’ 5-4 win. When asked about Pomeranz’s pitch count after the game, Farrell said that he was prepared to pull Pomeranz after the pitch if Holliday got on base.
“The pitch count is what it is: a high one,” said Farrell. “I thought, given tonight, where there was a high amount of foul balls and deep counts, that was his last pitch he was going to throw regardless, and he made it count.”
Pomeranz, who threw over 120 pitches for the first time in his professional career, had no complaints about how he had felt physically throughout the outing.
“I felt fine,” said Pomeranz. “I haven’t [thrown over 120 pitches] in pro ball, but in college that was kind of a regular thing … but I felt good. In that situation, you don’t really think about that. You’re just thinking about making pitches. I still felt strong to the end.”
Jones and Cattles, however, had a problem with Farrell leaving in Pomeranz for so many pitches, mainly because of the long-term health concerns it could create for Pomeranz. The lefty had to leave a spring training start early on March 19 with left triceps tightness, but has avoided injuries since then.
“Did [Pomeranz] need to get the win?” said Jones. “Was it that important to save the bullpen? You want to throw the guy’s arm off tonight when he’s pitched relatively well of late? What the hell were they doing?”
Cattles agreed that “any reason is not good enough” for Farrell to leave Pomeranz in the game, deeming the move an “irresponsible decision” that could have an adverse long-term impact on Pomeranz’s durability and create further problems in a Red Sox rotation already facing health questions.
“I hope we’re not looking back at this decision in early July,” said Cattles. “Because Pomeranz has to go on the DL and now you’re missing [Eduardo] Rodriguez, Pomeranz, and maybe [David] Price takes a step or two back, and your whole rotation is screwed before you get to the All-Star Break.”
Pomeranz’s 123 pitches marked the 13th time under John Farrell that a Red Sox pitcher threw 120 or more pitches in the regular season, according to CSNNE’s Evan Drellich. Ryan Dempster threw the most with 127 during the 2013 season.