First Drew Pomeranz praised the pitches.
“My four-seamer was better, my curveball was coming out there,” he said.
Then he gave some credit to his brain, too.
The Giants left-hander was in good spirits following his five-inning, no-run effort in the 2-1 win over the Dodgers on Friday at Oracle Park, in which he flirted with the same meltdown that had felled him in his past two starts.
He had lost it early against Arizona and Baltimore and never recovered, to the tune of four innings and 13 runs. His first inning against Los Angeles began with a strikeout, single, single, walk. It was happening again.
Until it wasn’t, as he got David Freese and Corey Seager swinging with the bases loaded.
“I think in some of my other starts, I’ve been getting really frustrated out there and letting that get the best of me,” said Pomeranz, who got the no-decision but allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out seven in his five innings. “This time I was trying to shrug it off.”
It worked. A pitcher who was nearly removed from the rotation gave himself a second life, throwing 60 strikes in his 92 pitches.
“I was getting some swings that I haven’t gotten really in a long time,” said Pomeranz, who got eight swinging strikes. “You could tell by the strikeouts.”
Pomeranz pitched on extra rest, manager Bruce Bochy choosing to sit him since May 31 instead of taking more drastic measures. The 30-year-old, on a one-year, $1.5 million base contract, admitted he knew about the uncertainty about his spot in the rotation and on the roster. Another blowup likely would have been his last.
“There’s always concern,” Pomeranz said. “We’ve all been in situations like that, where you don’t know what’s going to happen. All you can do is show up every day and work and focus on getting better.”
From nearly unemployed to outdueling Clayton Kershaw.
“A lot of those situations this year just have not been going my way,” he said. “It was huge, really huge for me to get out of that. Just really huge for us to not have them on the board in the first.”
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