Maybe his tone was part of the problem, because Drew Pomeranz was clear-eyed and calm.
“You gotta figure out a way to get pissed off or do something to go out there mad,” Pomeranz said after the Giants fell to the Cardinals, 9-4 at Oracle Park on Friday. “Whatever trick it takes, but you got to be ready from the get-go or else stuff like that happens.”
Stuff like that being three first-inning runs, increasing his first-inning ERA to 11.25. Pomeranz was bad from the get-go, the second (Jose Martinez) and fourth (Paul Goldschmidt) batters he faced hitting home runs and putting the Giants in a 3-0 hole within 11 pitches. He bounced back and lasted four innings, but his fourth run allowed made him the losing pitcher (2-9) on a night he couldn’t find the plate.
Pomeranz walked four in as many innings, getting a first-pitch strike to just 11 of 21 batters. That’s where the 30-year-old pinpointed his problem: He didn’t attack hitters enough.
“I’ve been working a lot, think I’ve made some good strides, and today was just aggressiveness,” said Pomeranz, whose ERA dug to 6.42. “Once I got aggressive on guys, I got what I wanted out of it.”
The free-agent signing, whose Giants existence has mostly been rooted in being a trade chip, was solid in four of five June starts, including racking up 18 strikeouts in 10 innings in his past two outings. His stuff was electric as it’s ever been, which he credited to a newfound arm slot that was less over the top.
“Ten base-runners in four innings. That’s working hard out there,” said Bruce Bochy, who lifted Pomeranz after 86 pitches (and 52 strikes). “Just a little off with the fastball command.”
The curveball went wayward often, too. Still, Pomeranz was not downbeat after absorbing another loss. He looked back on his first half with optimism.
“First part of it sucked,” he said. “And then I feel like I was throwing the ball well. These last few [starts], been throwing the ball good. This is obviously a frustrating one to go into the All-Star break with.
“… I know what needs to be done.”
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