Drew Pomeranz

Giants return to Oracle Park, lose to Cardinals in all too familiar ways

Giants return to Oracle Park, lose to Cardinals in all too familiar ways

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy knew his players needed a day off after playing 20 consecutive games. He knew it would refresh some bodies and minds heading into the All-Star break. 

And yet, he really was concerned about the Giants sitting out on the Fourth of July instead of building off a powerful sweep of the Padres. He also might have been worried about another factor Friday night. 

The Giants actually are pretty competitive on the road, where they had been thoroughly walloped the previous two seasons. Their lineup has finally kept pace with others and the pitching has done enough that the team left Petco Park with a 21-22 record on the road. The Dodgers, who have already wrapped up the NL West, are 23-20 on the road. 

But Oracle Park is where the real issues have been, and on Friday night the Giants returned home and lost 9-4 to the Cardinals. They're 18-26 at a ballpark they know better than anyone. Asked about the home-road splits, Bochy said "some things are hard to explain," but he did pinpoint his main culprit. 

"We haven't scored as much here," Bochy said. "The offense hasn't quite clicked here like it has on the road. You can look at maybe even the pitching, and the offense just hasn't quite been good enough here at home."

The same lineup that embraced platoons and favorable matchups while scoring 30 runs over the previous three games returned to Oracle and scattered seven hits. The Giants entered the night dead last in the National League in runs scored at home (143 in 43 games) and were hitting just .226 at home.

Of course, both teams play with the same dimensions, and the Cardinals made the park look small from the start. Drew Pomeranz gave up two homers in the first and four runs in his four innings. Any momentum that survived the off day died early on. 

"I put us in a hole early," Pomeranz said. "You don't want to feel like you're fighting (uphill) the whole time. I've got to do a better job in the first inning of getting us back in the dugout and not giving up runs."

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Pomeranz ended his up-and-down first half as a Giant with a 6.42 ERA. 

"The first part of it sucked," he said. "These last few (starts) I've been throwing good, but this is obviously a frustrating one to go into the All-Star break with."

What impressed Stephen Vogt about Drew Pomeranz's outing vs. D-backs

What impressed Stephen Vogt about Drew Pomeranz's outing vs. D-backs

Drew Pomeranz pitched five scoreless innings in the Giants' 4-3 loss to the Diamondbacks at Oracle Park on Saturday night.

It was yet another solid outing for the veteran, who entered the night with a 6.79 ERA but has pitched better of late.

And Pomeranz managed to keep Arizona off the board despite not being able to effectively throw one of his pitches.

"He did an unbelievable job tonight," Giants catcher Stephen Vogt told the media after the game. "He did not have his curveball, and that's one of his better pitches, so without a good curveball, he was able to go five shutout [innings] for us.

“Obviously, [he] threw a lot of pitches, but at the same time, he was able to get through it. Without your best secondary pitch, to be able to do what he did tonight was impressive."

In 24 1/3 innings pitched in June, Pomeranz has allowed just nine earned runs. Those numbers are a byproduct of the adjustment he made to his arm slot in May.

On a night when his curveball wasn't working, Pomeranz was able to rely on his fastball.

"My shape on my fastball has been totally different," Pomeranz told reporters after the game. "Before, I was getting some tail on my four-seam when I tried to go glove-side and now it's almost going the opposite way, which is what I'm used to. It helps them not barrel up the ball.

”I think that's been a big part of the change because my curveball wasn't really very good at all today, so the good fastball I've had these last few [starts] has helped me strike some guys out."

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Pomeranz will look to locate his curveball in his final start of the first half, as he’ll face the Cardinals next Friday.

Drew Pomeranz was thinking 'attack' in historic effort in Giants' loss

Drew Pomeranz was thinking 'attack' in historic effort in Giants' loss

Drew Pomeranz had a career night Monday at Oracle Park. Unfortunately for the Giants starter, he still came away with his eighth loss of the season.

In five innings pitched, Pomeranz matched a career high with 11 strikeouts. It's the third time in his nine-year career that he's struck out that many batters in a game.

But that's not even the best stat regarding Pomeranz's 11 strikeouts against the Rockies.

That's right. Pomeranz did something that no other Giants pitcher had accomplished in 126 years.

"I was just thinking attack," Pomeranz told the media after the Giants' 2-0 loss to the Rockies. "Didn't want to walk guys, even though I did walk guys. Some of the other guys had three-pitch strikeouts, so that helps balance things out."

Pomeranz walked just two batters. He pitched well enough to win, but his one mistake — a two-run homer allowed to Rockies outfielder David Dahl — cost him.

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"He had good stuff," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the media. "His curveball got better as he went. Had a good fastball going tonight, good life on it, and I think it showed on the strikeouts."