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The Question Has To Be Asked: Is Drew Pomeranz The Best Pitcher In The League Right Now?

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All this talk about David Price rejoining the Red Sox rotation on Monday, but the savior of the Red Sox season is right here, and his name is Drew Pomeranz. He’s a beacon of hope, a fearless leader of men, definitely not physically or mentally fragile, and when you need a starter to give you at least six innings, this is unequivocally your guy.

None of that is true, but for one rainy night in Boston, it felt like it was. Pomeranz, coming off three consecutive starts in which he maxed out at four innings, made it to the big time — the sixth inning. And it was glorious. I never thought I’d see the day, which made the payoff to the journey all the more exhilarating. But it wasn’t just about getting there; it was about actually being pretty good at pitching on the way. Pomeranz struck out a season-high 11 batters, which also tied his career high. Who would’ve fuckin’ thought? Not me. Not I.

He gave up a home run just because he couldn’t help himself, but you know what? I don’t even care. I really don’t. If that’s what you love to do, then that’s what you love to do, and who am I to judge you for that? The home run that Pomeranz allowed ended a streak of two consecutive starts in which he hadn’t allowed a home run, which was his longest streak of not allowing a home run since joining the Red Sox on July 20 last year. Two whole starts. RIP in peace to the streak. I’ll never forget it. Thanks for the memories.

Red Sox pitching also tied a major league record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game with 20. Pomeranz had the aforementioned 11, Heath Hembree had two, Robby Scott had one, Matt Barnes had two, and Craig Kimbrel had four in one inning. He actually struck out Nomar Mazara on a pitch that he missed by eight feet, which then hit off of his foot and bounced away. The umpires fucked that one up, because it should’ve been a dead ball after it hit him and a strikeout in the books. They later corrected it after the game, so Kimbrel was credited with four strikeouts.

Some updated numbers on this psychopath — over his last eight appearances, Kimbrel has faced 27 batters and struck out 19 of them. That’s 70.4% of the batters he’s faced. Also, in case you didn’t pick up on it, 27 batters is the minimum number of batters that a pitcher would face in a nine-inning game, and 20 strikeouts, as mentioned earlier, is the record for most strikeouts in a nine-inning game. Over those eight appearances, Kimbrel has only allowed one hit with no walks. He did all of this in 8.1 innings, too, so if you want to compare this to a nine-inning start, then he still has the chance to strike out more than 20 batters in a nine-inning span. That’s just sick.

The Red Sox continue to score runs, and they got some pop from some pretty unlikely sources. Xander Bogaerts finally hit his first home run of the season last night, about 12 hours before I had written a rant about how he’s still having another great season at the plate, despite his lack of homers. If he can start hitting bombs a little more consistently, then we should be talking about a second consecutive All Star appearance for Bogaerts (which should actually be his third). With that one home run, that puts him on a pace to hit four all year. I’d be willing to bet that he eclipses that number.

Deven Marrero also hit his first home run of the season, and I saw Lou Merloni pose this question on Twitter — something along the lines of, when Pablo Sandoval comes back, how well will he have to hit in order to be considered an upgrade over Marrero at third base? Because Marrero is a defensive wizard in the infield, even though shortstop is his natural position — he’s been great at third base — but Sandoval is a below average defender at best. And he wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire with his bat prior to his injury.

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And it’s WILD that we’re even talking about this, given how Marrero hasn’t really hit well at any level he’s played at and has essentially moved through the ranks on his glove alone, but it’s a good question to ask. What does Sandoval have to do with his bat in order to be considered an upgrade over Marrero? Because the Red Sox are 8-4 in the last 12 games that Marrero has been at third base, and he’s hit safely in his last four games. Just sayin’.

Final score: Red Sox 6, Rangers 2