Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised anymore by Drew Pomeranz.
Increasingly, Pomeranz has shown signs that he is the legitimate No. 2 starter for the Red Sox rotation. Any remaining doubts were likely erased—or at least reduced—on Wednesday when Pomeranz went toe-to-toe with Indians ace Corey Kluber and came out on top.
Pomeranz is now 13-4 with a 3.18 ERA for the season and has won a career-high six consecutive road decisions.
Asked about the prospect of competing against an opposing ace, Pomeranz said he tries not to focus on that. “I don’t really like to look at the other pitcher,” Pomeranz said after the game. “If I do my job, it doesn’t matter who’s on the other side.”
Big Win Against A Tough Team
Kluber has been outstanding this season and he was good again on Wednesday, limiting the Sox to two runs on four hits with 12 strikeouts over 7.2 IP. But Kluber would take the loss as Pomeranz, though somewhat less efficient, kept pace by allowing just 2 hits and no runs with nine strikeouts. Pomeranz did walk four, however, which helped to drive his pitch count to 103 by the time he left the game after 5.1 IP.
Mitch Moreland‘s home run gave the Sox the lead in the fifth inning, but it was Mookie Betts‘ two-out base hit in the eighth, scoring Brock Holt, that sent Kluber to the showers with Boston leading 2-0.
With Kimbrel prepping to protect the slim lead, Boston put together a big top of the ninth with back-to-back singles by Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts and a big double for Brock Holt. Aided by a passed ball and a wild pitch, the Sox were now up 4-1 when Eduardo Núñez stepped to the plate and blasted a two-run home run.
Already warm, Kimbrel did enter the game collecting his 100th strikeout of the season. Kimbel is now struck out 101 of the 195 batters he’s faced this season (51.8%).
Boston batters struck out 14 times on Wednesday, with half those coming from Hanley Ramírez (4 SO) and Christian Vázquez (3 SO). For Ramírez it was Career Game No. 1,581 and his first ever with four strikeouts in nine innings. The 14 strikeouts was one shy of the club’s season-high (15) also coming against the Tribe.
Wednesday’s win gives the Red Sox a 4 games-to-2 lead over the Indians this season, assuring them of a season series win. The Sox took the 2016 set 4-games-to-2 in 2016; the Indians beat the Sox 4-2 in 2015.
Farrell Moves Up The List
Red Sox Manager John Farrell recorded his 412th win with the club on Wednesday for sole possession of seventh place on the club’s All-Time Managers Win List. With two more he’ll tie Jimy Williams at No. 6 on that list.
It’s a long way to No. 1 for Farrell. That record is held by Hall of Famer Joe Cronin, who recorded 1,071 wins from 1935-1947.
Red Sox Acquire Rajai Davis
Speedy Davis, has stolen at least 18 bases in each of the last 11 seasons and has five seasons with 40 or more steals. His 26 stolen base in 2017 automatically make him the SB champ for the Red Sox.
Davis broke into the big leagues with the Pirates in 2006 then played for the Giants (2007-08), Athletics (2008-10), Blue Jays (2011-13), Tigers (2014-15), Indians (2016) before returning to Oakland this season on a one year deal as a free agent.
As part of the Indians postseason drive last year, Davis was 5-for-22 (.227), all during the World Series, including that big, game-tying home run off the Cubs’ Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of Game 7.
Though Davis’ .233 AVG/.294 OBP/.353 SLG slash line for 2017 seems mediocre, his power turned up in the second half, going .303/.361/.487 in 30 games since the All-Star break.
Following tonight’s announcement, Sox baseball president Dave Dombrowski praised Davis’ clubhouse presence and his postseason experience.. “He’s a tremendous individual,” Dombrowski said. “He’s the type of person everyone thinks the world of when they meet him, he’ll fit in with the ball club well.”
Dombrowski stressed that talks to acquire Davis were in the works for a week and did not reflect any greater concerns about Jackie Bradley, who injured his thumb sliding into home on Tuesday. Bradley was back in Boston today for further medical examination which found no tears or fractures, but he’ll need a splint for about a week and was officially placed on the 10-day disabled list.
Davis grew up in Connecticut and graduated from New London High School in CT in 1999 where he played baseball, basketball and football. He attended the University of Connecticut at Avery Point. Davis and his wife, Marissa, have a daughter, Jada Marie, and son, Jordan Michael.