Though the calendar is still stuck on April and the Padres are just 6-9, Drew Pomeranz has been a large rotation bright spot for the Padres after earning the rotation spot in Spring Training. He has yet to strike out less than 7, has gone at least 5 innings each start, and is 2-1 with a 2.04 ERA and 25 strike outs after just 3 starts. Last night was his best yet, as pitching against recent perennial playoff team the Pittsburgh Pirates he worked 6 2/3 striking out 10 and allowing 0 runs in the Padres 8-2 victory.
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Of course the Padres knew what they might have in Pomeranz when they traded Yonder Alonso and Marc Repczynski for him this off-season, but they might not have known he would be their best starter in the opening month of the season. Long term the Padres might need to be wary of his innings and pitch counts as last year he pitched 86 IP and his career high was back in 2012 with the Rockies when he pitched nearly 97 innings, but they can certainly enjoy the ride now.
Defense helped out Pomeranz as well. Adam Rosales made a tremendous diving play at third base and Melvin Upton Jr.took away a home run in the 9th leaping up above the left field wall to bring one back. The offense hammered out 12 hits including another Matt Kemp home run, giving Pomeranz a 7-0 lead by the start of the fourth inning. He would only need a couple, but the early offense certainly helped him relax.
Pomeranz was led by his curveball, which Pirates hitters continually swung and missed all night long. Pomeranz had a simple explanation for that as reported by padres.com, “I threw a lot of them. I was attacking them with it early on. They kept missing it, so I just kept throwing it.”
His 2.04 ERA is good for 11th in the NL so far, and his 25 K’s put him 6th in the National League in that category. Though of course its far too early to “call” this trade, for the record Yonder Alonso is hitting .130 with 0 HR and 2 RBI for the Athletics. With Tyson Ross still injured, Drew Pomeranz is picking up the slack and putting the Padres in a position to win every single time he takes the mound.