Given what was likely one more chance to prove himself, San Francisco Giants left-hander Drew Pomeranz rewarded manager Bruce Bochy's faith. He will return to the mound Wednesday against the team he faced when the rebound started.
On June 7 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pomeranz turned a tweak in his delivery into five scoreless innings as he held one of the best offenses in baseball to just three hits. Pomeranz did not get the victory, but the Giants won the game 2-1.
It was a far cry from his previous outing on May 31 when he gave up eight runs on six hits with two walks in 1 1/3 innings in Baltimore. Had Bochy decided to make a change in the rotation at that point, few would have blinked, as Pomerz was 1-6 with an 8.08 ERA on the season then.
Up next for Pomeranz (2-6, 6.43 ERA) is a date at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday in the finale of a three-game series. He will match up against another left-hander, the Dodgers' Rich Hill (4-1, 2.60).
While his season's first two months are best forgotten, Pomeranz has managed to pitch well against the Dodgers, recording a 3.21 ERA over three starts and 14 innings. Against everybody else, he has a 7.71 ERA over 35 innings.
Against the Dodgers in his career, Pomeranz is 1-5 with a 3.40 ERA over 11 outings (nine starts).
Pomeranz will enter Wednesday's game after earning the victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday when he pitched another five innings while giving up two runs, both unearned. He struck out five and walked three. The difference has been an adjustment with his arm slot.
"You look at the last two outings, he's been a different guy with the command of all his pitches," Bochy said after Pomeranz earned the victory over the Brewers. "He's a guy that's going to run some deep counts, but I think his breaking ball got better as he went. He's gotta feel good about his little adjustment and should have a lot of confidence with that move."
Hill has been a key member of the Dodgers' rotation this season after getting off to a late start because of a knee injury. The veteran has gone at least six innings in five of his past six starts, and the one in which he did not, that one worked out just fine.
On June 8 at San Francisco, Hill needed 94 pitches to get through five innings. He gave up two runs as the Dodgers earned a 7-2 victory to rebound from Pomeranz's solid start one day earlier.
Hill will enter Wednesday's outing after holding the Chicago Cubs to three runs on seven hits over seven innings Friday as the Dodgers earned a 5-3 victory. Of note that night was Hill's RBI single to left field in the fourth inning that ended up supplying the difference-making run.
"I'll take any hits I can get," Hill said after defeating the Cubs. "I just stuck the bat out there and fortunately got a hit and we got a run out of it."
Pitching, and not his offense, will be of importance Wednesday against the Giants. Hill is 8-2 in 15 career starts against San Francisco with a 2.33 ERA.
Despite a 16 1/2-game advantage over the Giants in the National League West standings, the Dodgers have just a one-game advantage on San Francisco in head-to-head matchups, winning six of the 11 meetings thus far.
--Field Level Media