Red Sox: Pomeranz excellent again but Barnes blows lead late – drop series finale

The Boston Red Sox offense did not light up the scoreboards late and Royals came to life scoring four in 8th inning

After an eventful extra inning victory last night against the Royals, the Red Sox were again up late this afternoon before reliever Matt Barnes uncharacteristically fell apart at Fenway Park. Barnes before tonight had been stellar with a 0.72 ERA through 25 innings striking out 32 batters while allowing just two earned runs. Today, Barnes allowed four runs, three of which were earned on three hits and picked up his 3rd loss on the season.

This loss comes less than 24 hours after he picked up his 6th win on the season after pitching a scoreless 10th inning frame last night. His ERA jumps over a full run from 0.72 to 1.80. While that’s still respectable, it was a huge blow for the Sox who were looking to get back into first place after losing the lead to the Yankees. The win would definitely have boosted team morale. With David Price on the shelf, the team can refocus.

Eduardo Nunez had been electric the first two games with the Red Sox, unfortunately, this afternoon was just not his day. Nunez went 0/3 today dropping his batting average to .417 after he had hitting .555 (5/9) through his first two games for the boys from Beantown. Nunez also saw his six game hit streak come to an end.

Rafael Devers was again a hero after smacking his 2nd home run of the season over the Green Monster in left field. Originally ruled a double, after further review, the umpires called it a home run. Who impressed the team the most today? Drew Pomeranz  who went 6 2/3rd’s innings for the 2nd time spanning his last three starts. Pom allowed just one run on seven hits and also walked one and struck out four.

Pomeranz has continued to impress and make up for the blunder known to him as the second half of the 2016 season. His season ERA dropped once again from 3.59 to 3.46. While it wasn’t a huge drop, it was still nice to see it dip below 3.50. It’s also a full run less than the mark we saw him at for last season which stood at an ugly 4.59 ERA.

Seeing pitchers at a sub 3.00 ERA is a tough mark and if he keeps pitching this way, it’s something we’ll see soon enough. Can we see Pomeranz go eight innings or even the full game? It’s certainly possible if he can work on going just a bit further and get outs on less than four or five pitches. Pomeranz threw 106 pitches but only 65 for strikes, just a little better than a 3 / 2 strike to ball ratio which is not good enough.

If Pom had thrown maybe 10 more strikes, there’s a chance we could have seen him go 7+ innings and maybe 8 full if he could stand the 120 mark once more. Pomeranz threw 123 pitches back on June 6th against the Yankees. If he can work a little smarter, perhaps a little longer, we might be having ourselves another Chris Sale type pitcher in the innings per game department. Today also marked his 5th quality start in six attempts.

The Red Sox will take on the Indians next where Doug Fister will be on the mount in search of his 1st win on the season. Fister was not originally in the rotation but with the injury to Price, the Sox needed to find a person fast. The Red Sox will then play host to the White Sox for a four game series. Currently the Sox are 1 – 2 during their homestand.


Photo Credit – Bob DeChiara – USA TODAY Sports


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