06 Oct

now this is big

Way back in 2010, the scouting department of the Cleveland Indians envisioned Drew Pomeranz pitching in big games. The Indians drafted the big lefty out of Ole Miss with the fifth overall pick and signed him for $2.6 million. He was the second pitcher taken – behind Jameson Taillon – and went ahead of Matt Harvey and Chris Sale. Though he no longer pitches for Cleveland – that was four teams ago – Pomeranz’s big game is here. He takes the ball for Boston today at Houston’s Minute Maid Park with his team down 1-0 in the best-of-5 American League Division Series. Pomeranz (17-6, 3.32 ERA) got the win against the Astros last week in the victory that secured the AL East title. That was a big game, too. But this is certainly bigger. It’ll be Pomeranz’s first postseason start. And he’s facing an Astros team that raked Red Sox pitching – including Sale — for 12 hits and eight runs in Thursday’s opener. And he’ll be opposed by Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 Cy Young Award winner who is 14-5, 2.90 ERA. Pomeranz may be able to draw on his success from last week, when he checked the Astros on three hits and a lone run in six-plus innings. “Kind of goes both ways,” Pomeranz told masslive.com. “They got to see me; I got to see them.” And that was at Fenway Park, with the backing of Red Sox Nation. Today will be different. And so much bigger. … It’ll be interesting to see if former Mississippi State standout Mitch Moreland, a lefty hitter, is in the Boston lineup against left-hander Keuchel. The Red Sox might want Moreland at first base for his defense.

26 Sep

a rough patch

Former Ole Miss ace Drew Pomeranz is due for one more start for Boston before the playoffs begin. Based on his performance on Monday, the big left-hander appears to need a little maintenance work. Pomeranz was knocked out in the third inning by Toronto, yielding five runs on seven hits and a walk with no strikeouts. His velocity reportedly was down and his command was lacking. Pomeranz shrugged it off, telling reporters he felt fine. “I really didn’t have a chance to get settled in …,” he told The Associated Press. The Red Sox, who have not yet clinched the American League East, lost the game 6-4. It was just the second loss Pomeranz has absorbed in his last 19 starts. Overall, in 31 starts, he is 16-6 with a 3.38 ERA. The Red Sox need “Big Smooth” to be just that for the postseason.

29 Aug

bottom line

The work was a little sloppy along the way, but the finished product looked pretty darn good. Former Ole Miss standout Drew Pomeranz, who has emerged as a surprising stopper for Boston, notched his 14th win – tied for the American League lead – as the Red Sox beat Toronto 6-5 on Monday night. The first-place Red Sox had dropped four in a row; they are now 7-2 this season in Pomeranz’s starts following a loss. Pomeranz, whose Players Weekend nickname was “Big Smooth,” was anything but on Monday. He allowed seven hits, five walks and three runs, two in the first inning. But he pitched out of trouble several times, stranding eight runners all told. The visiting Red Sox trailed 3-2 after six but rallied for four runs in the seventh, and the game was turned over to their bullpen. It’s amazing to think that Pomeranz wasn’t even a lock to make the Boston rotation heading into spring training. But injuries and struggles by others have enabled him to move up the pecking order. Chris Sale is the unquestioned ace, but Pomeranz, who has a 3.23 ERA and 149 strikeouts in 142 innings, has become a valuable No. 2. P.S. T.J. House, the Picayune High product, has been designated for assignment by the Blue Jays after two appearances and will likely wind up back in their minor league system. … Former Mississippi State standout Adam Frazier, who has quietly had a very good year (.280, 45 RBIs, 46 runs in 104 games) has landed on the 10-day disabled list for Pittsburgh.

30 Mar

false alarm …?

One imagines a bit of panic swept through Red Sox Nation when the news first broke. Drew Pomeranz will start the season on the disabled list, joining fellow pitchers David Price and Tyler Thornburg. Oh, wait … there’s more. Reportedly, former Ole Miss star Pomeranz has only a flexor strain in his left arm and might still be able to start on April 9, the first time Boston will need a fifth starter. Surely a big sigh of relief rippled through Boston when that was revealed. Pomeranz looms as an important piece for the Red Sox, especially with Price’s status for the season up in the air. Pomeranz, who had a stem cell shot in his elbow in the off-season, has had an uneven spring. He is 0-2 with an 8.25 ERA in 12 innings. He also had an uneven 2016, going 3-5, 4.59 for Boston after coming over in a trade with San Diego. He was 8-7, 2.47 and an All-Star for the Padres. A first-round pick by Cleveland out of UM in 2010 and a tantalizing talent, Pomeranz has been traded four times. Boston, pegged as a World Series contender, is hoping he can settle in and bolster the back end of its rotation.

26 Jun

lightning strikes

If he could bottle it, he surely would. Former Ole Miss standout Drew Pomeranz had quite the day for San Diego on Saturday. Seven shutout innings on the mound at Cincinnati. Two hits, including his second career home run, at the plate. Pomeranz, who goes 6 feet 6, 240 pounds, is reputed to be a batting-practice masher. “I’m 5 o’clock lightning, for sure,” he told The Sports Xchange. It’s the potential lightning in his left arm that rates the attention, however. Pomeranz is having the best season of his career, and the trade rumors are circling overhead. He is 7-7 with a 2.76 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 88 innings for the Padres, who are going nowhere this year. There are a number of clubs, Baltimore and Miami among them, said to be interested in acquiring Pomeranz. The fifth overall pick by Cleveland in 2010, Pomeranz already has been dealt three times: from the Indians to Colorado, then to Oakland, then to San Diego. He is only 21-31, 3.77 career, having split time as a starter and reliever while teasing with his potential. He appears finally to have caught on to something in 2016. Maybe he can bottle it.

12 May

good stuff

As the fifth overall draft pick in 2010 out of Ole Miss, Drew Pomeranz entered pro ball with some hefty expectations. The big left-hander is starting to live up to them. Pomeranz, now with San Diego, blanked the mighty Chicago Cubs over six innings at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night, striking out 10 and propelling the Padres to a 1-0 win. It was just the second time this season the Cubs have been blanked. Pomeranz, now 4-3 with a 1.80 ERA, threw five shutout innings at the New York Mets in his previous start and has allowed just one run over his last 18 innings. “In pro ball, this is the best I’ve ever felt in a stretch,” he told mlb.com. While people in the game rave about his stuff, the 6-foot-6 Pomeranz has been traded three times in six years. His career MLB numbers are 18-27, 3.80 as he has bounced between starting and relieving. He may finally have found his place. P.S. The Padres’ lone run in the game – the second in their sweep on Wednesday – came on a monstrous homer by former Mississippi Braves standout Christian Bethancourt, his third of the year.

02 Dec

this just in

For the third time in a pro career that began in 2010, Drew Pomeranz has been traded. The left-hander out of Ole Miss was dealt today by Oakland to San Diego in a four-player trade that moved Yonder Alonso to the A’s. Pomeranz was 5-6 with three saves and a 3.66 ERA for Oakland in 2015, starting the season in the rotation and ending it as a closer. He had minor shoulder surgery in October but was expected to be ready for spring training. Pomeranz, 27, has a career ERA of 4.07 in 107 games, 49 of them starts. The fifth overall pick by Cleveland in 2010, he was traded to Colorado in 2011 and from the Rockies to Oakland in 2013.

24 Jul

about-face

Things were going well for Drew Pomeranz in his role as a relief pitcher. Twenty appearances, a 1.56 ERA. Well, forget that. The big left-hander out of Ole Miss is back in the Oakland rotation. He made an emergency start on Thursday – after the A’s traded Scott Kazmir – and it didn’t go so well. Eight batters faced. Two hits, a walk, two runs allowed (on a home run). The A’s wound up losing 5-2 to Toronto. Pomeranz now has a 4.67 ERA in nine starts this season. Thursday’s was his first since May 18. The fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft, Pomeranz is with his third organization; he is 13-21 with a 4.14 ERA. He has always had trouble going deep into games as a starter. The move to the pen this season, which followed a stint on the disabled list, seemed like a good idea. And the results were good. Now he’ll have to readjust to starting for a team that’s out of the postseason hunt. “In five days I hope I’ll polish up a few things,” he told the San Jose Mercury News. Pomeranz’s next start figures to come against the Los Angeles Dodgers. P.S. David Goforth, another ex-UM star, was recalled by Milwaukee on Thursday and pitched in relief against Arizona. Didn’t go well for him either. Three hits, a walk and two runs allowed in one inning. Meridian native Goforth now has a 5.40 ERA in his five MLB appearances.

24 Jun

it’s a first

Drew Pomeranz, the former Ole Miss standout, achieved a career first on Tuesday night. The left-hander earned career save No. 1 by getting the last five outs in Oakland’s 8-6 win at Texas. He induced ex-Mississippi State star Mitch Moreland to hit into a double play in the ninth and then ended the game with a strikeout. Pomeranz might be best suited for a bullpen role. He began this season in the A’s rotation and was 2-3 with a 4.40 ERA when he went on the disabled list in mid-May. In only two of his eight starts did he go more than 5 1/3 innings. He has worked exclusively in relief since returning and has yielded just two runs in 10 appearances, picking up four holds. Used mostly as a starter in pro ball since Cleveland drafted him fifth overall in 2010, Pomeranz is 11-21 with a 4.20 ERA for his MLB career. P.S. East Central Community College alum Tim Anderson was named MVP of Tuesday’s Southern League All-Star Game. On his 22nd birthday, the Chicago White Sox prospect went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run to pace the North stars to a 9-0 victory at Montgomery, Ala.

06 Jul

a big one

There are those who contend that the win is an overrated or even irrelevant statistic for pitchers. One suspects T.J. House would disagree. The former Picayune High star, who launched his pro career in 2008, got his first major league win on Saturday and earned a big-time beer shower from his Cleveland teammates. Left-hander House threw 6 2/3 innings against American League Central rival Kansas City, yielding nine hits and three runs in a 7-3 victory. It was his eighth MLB appearance (all this season) and seventh start, and he easily could have won before Saturday. He has a 4.24 ERA to go with his 1-2 record. He wasn’t dominant against the Royals, but he was clutch. “Every time we got something going, he found a way to end it,” KC manager and former Jackson Mets catcher Ned Yost told The Associated Press. P.S. Wondering what Oakland’s acquisition of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, which gives the A’s a backlog of starting pitchers, means for Drew Pomeranz. The lefty out of Ole Miss was 5-4 with a 2.91 ERA when he went on the disabled list June 17 with a broken right hand.