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In A Shocking Twist Of Events, Drew Pomeranz And Homer-Friendly Ballparks Are Not The Greatest Pairing

If your stance is to cut Drew Pomeranz some slack because he’s actually been pretty good this year, I’m not tryna hear that.

I’m not cutting Pomeranz any slack. I will, however, acknowledge that he allowed one of his two home runs to Eric Thames, who owns that ass no matter who’s on the mound. No shame in serving one up to that guy. That, and Miller Park is a home run friendly ballpark, so I would’ve bet my life savings on Pomeranz giving up at least one bomb, especially since the Brewers lead the majors in home runs and giving up home runs is Pomeranz’s favorite pastime.

Since Pomeranz was acquired by the Red Sox on July 20 last year, only three pitchers in the American League have given up more homers than him — James Shields (25), Mike Fiers (24) and AJ Griffin (24). He’s made 19 starts in a Red Sox uniform and he’s given up at least one home run in 16 of them, 21 home runs in total. He’s also given up seven homers in six starts this year, but has managed to limit the damage somewhat.

He’s held opponents to two earned runs or fewer in four of his six starts, but he’s averaging 5.1 innings per start this year, so when he blows up like he did last night for six earned runs, that ERA is going to jump pretty drastically because he doesn’t have the innings under his belt to endure a major stinker. After the Brewers went to pound town on Pomeranz, his ERA jumped from 4.00 to 5.23, as the left-hander only lasted four innings.

Of his six outings this season, Pomeranz has failed to give the Red Sox at least six innings in all but two starts. And in those two starts, he gave them six innings exactly. He hasn’t pitched more than six innings in a start since August 30 when he went six and two thirds. In fact, he’s only pitched more than six innings twice in his 19 starts since arriving in Boston. A real iron man, this guy.

The six earned runs from Pomeranz were bad enough as it is, but then the Red Sox bullpen caved for five more. I’m gonna revisit the point that I made over the weekend about how the bullpen numbers looked good to that point, but you should still be concerned because the next best reliever after Craig Kimbrel is Matt Barnes, who has sucked for almost the last month. Yeah, so after Kimbrel, the next best reliever statistically was Heath Hembree, and he blew up for three earned last night. Probably a good time to circle back to the argument that Boston’s bullpen needs Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg back sooner than later.

The Red Sox offense did their part. We’re not talking about them as being an issue anymore. Ever since Johnny Steelcock rearranged the lineup in Minnesota, they’re averaging 11.67 runs per game and hitting .357 with an 1.165 OPS as a team. Obviously those aren’t sustainable numbers, but there’s no doubt that something has finally clicked here, as they scored seven more runs last night. Can’t be losing games that you score seven runs, though. Mookie Betts hit a leadoff home run and went 4-for-4 with a couple of doubles out of the leadoff spot. Andrew Benintendi had three more hits, his fourth consecutive multi-hit game and his sixth game this season with at least three hits. Then you had Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts collecting a double each.

I guess that’s the silver lining here, sort of. For the most part, Pomeranz has been okay in terms of at least keeping you in games. This start has been somewhat of an outlier in terms of earned runs allowed, although his inability to go deep into starts drives me insane. And the offense is still rolling. More often than not with this pitching staff, you’re going to get a pitching performance where seven runs is going to be enough to get a win. Just…probably not tonight because Kyle Kendrick sucks.

Final score: Brewers 11, Red Sox 7