San Francisco Giants: Drew Pomeranz earned another start on Monday
By Hunter Ruetz
A poor performance from San Francisco Giants starter Drew Pomeranz on Monday night might have been the last straw. Instead, he’s earned himself another start.
It was fair to wonder heading into Monday night’s game if it would be Drew Pomeranz final start as a member of the San Francisco Giants.
While Pomeranz is clearly not the same pitcher who was an All-Star in 2016 and a 17-game winner in 2017, he has shown enough flashes of that to make it difficult for the Giants to move on.
However, after he was shelled for seven earned runs in 4.1 innings of work against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his previous start, it looked like another bad outing on Monday could be the end of the line.
He was given another chance to prove his worth against the Colorado Rockies and he made a solid case for continuing on as part of a struggling rotation.
The 6’6″ left-hander started the night off well, striking out five batters in the first two innings. His only hiccup of the night then happened in the third inning when Charlie Blackmon reached on a bloop single to left field and David Dahl immediately plated him with a two-run opposite field home run.
Pomeranz was able to get out of that inning without further damage and he finished out his night on a high note, wrapping up his start with the following line:
- 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 K
It was not a perfect performance by any means, but it was good enough to keep Pomeranz in the rotation for the time being. The Giants ultimately losing the game had more to do with the team’s lack of offensive production than anything else.
However, this game did serve as the perfect embodiment of the type of pitcher than Pomeranz has been this season. He’s striking out hitters at a high rate and he’s giving up entirely too many home runs.
With 70 strikeouts in 58.1 innings, his 10.8 K/9 lead all San Francisco Giants starters and rank 18th among all pitchers who have tallied at least 50 innings on the year.
He has also allowed 15 home runs at a staggering 2.3 HR/9 clip that checks in 127th among the 135 pitchers that have eclipsed the 50-inning mark.
A quick look at his splits shows Pomeranz has been far better at Oracle Park than he has on the road:
- Home: 4.11 ERA, 42 K, 30.2 IP, 4 HR
- Road: 9.76 ERA, 28 K, 27.2 IP, 11 HR
For a pitcher that is susceptible to the long ball, it is not surprising that he has had an easier time limiting runs at Oracle Park. However, he has 14 more strikeouts in just three more innings pitched at home, which could be an indication that his confidence pitching at home or lack thereof pitching on the road is also a factor.
With his spot in the rotation up again on Saturday when the Giants will take on the Arizona Diamondbacks at Oracle Park, Pomeranz looks like a safe bet to make at least one more start.
On the other hand, if he’s not able to replicate his performance from Monday night, it might be the final straw. With second-year pitcher Dereck Rodriguez currently in the bullpen, it wouldn’t even take a major roster shuffle to remove Pomeranz from the starting rotation.
Meanwhile, left-hander Conner Menez is striking out hitters at an exceptional rate at Triple-A Sacramento, so he is another name to keep an eye on when looking at the future of the starting rotation.
For now, Drew Pomeranz has earned himself another go-around in the starting rotation. f he performs well, he will continue to keep himself around in a rotation that desperately needs quality starts from their pitchers.
If he performs poorly, we could be having this same exact conversation next week, and then it may be time for San Francisco Giants team president Farhan Zaidi to finally pull the plug on the “Drew Pomeranz Experiment“.