BOSTON — There doesn’t seem to be concern in Red Sox camp that Drew Pomeranz’s velocity is down because he’s hurting.
Manager John Farrell and Pomeranz appear to be approaching the situation like a fact of life: this is the stuff Pomeranz has at this point in the year. He has 167 2/3 innings under his belt, putting him just three away from matching his career-high a year ago. That takes a toll, but diminished stuff is alarming considering how important Pomeranz is to the Sox’ playoff hopes.
The Sox’ projected Game 2 starter in the American League Division Series was pulled Monday night after just two innings in a 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays, allowing five runs on seven hits and one walk. He struck out none.
Pomeranz’s fastball was around 89-91 mph, after he averaged 92.74 mph on it in August, per BrooksBaseball.net. Pomeranz's regular heat wasn't quite there in his previous outing in Baltimore, either, sitting at 89.29. But the dip goes beyond the last two times, to the last four. On Sept. 8, he sat at 90.11 mph, and on Sept. 14 was 91.19 mph.
Farrell left open the possibility that Pomeranz could get extra rest. The lefty's next and last scheduled regular season start is Saturday against the Astros.
“If the opportunity presents itself, I certainly wouldn’t rule that out,” Farrell said of rest. “We recognize the innings total, how he’s climbed over the last couple years in particular. But we notice the velocity has dropped somewhat, so it’s got to come down to being able to locate more consistently which he did in Baltimore. He was pinpoint control that night. Tonight, not so much.”
On Monday, Pomeranz noted what he did after the Baltimore start: that when he needs to hump up for the extra heat, he’s got it.
“I don’t know, I’ve been fine,” Pomeranz said when asked if extra rest may benefit him. “My velocity dipped a few times in the last few outings, but then I get right back up when I need it. So I really didn’t have a chance to get settled in and work some of those higher velocities in there.”
The Sox trailed 5-2 when Pomeranz left.