Former Indians first-round pick Drew Pomeranz—shipped to Colorado in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal in 2011—took advantage of his first opportunity to start against his original franchise on Monday afternoon.
Pomeranz has struggled since joining the Red Sox in a deadline deal, but picked up his first victory in a Boston uniform by holding the Tribe to just two runs in just over seven innings of work.
The Indians nearly got to Craig Kimbrel in the 9th, putting the winning run on first base with nobody out, but the Red Sox closer slammed the door on Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis and Abraham Almonte to pick up the save.
Despite the loss, it was encouraging to see Josh Tomlin back on his game after a few shaky outings.
Tomlin did surrender two home runs—including one to David Ortiz, which will be his last career home run in Progressive Field—but otherwise looked strong in his 7 2/3 innings of work.
There has been much debate about Tomlin in recent weeks during his struggles, but the fact remains he is the Indians best option as their No. 5 starter and arguably the best No. 5 starter in all of baseball.
While other contenders like the Tigers (Matt Boyd and others), Orioles (Wade Miley) and Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez) just hope for the best when their No. 5 starter takes the mound, the Indians know they legitimately have a chance to win every time it’s Tomlin’s turn to pitch.
When Tomlin goes six or seven innings and allows three or four runs, that’s a strong outing. It might not be what we expect from our other four starters, but that’s well above average for a No. 5.
Other notes and thoughts on the game…
Rajai Davis extended his career high with his 11th home run of the season. He’s almost 36 years old and hasn’t even played in 100 games yet this season. He was also a free agent this offseason hoping to get a chance to extend his career… We already know Almonte won’t be around in October because of his suspension and Marlon Byrd has been done for awhile now. Hopefully this is just a fluke season from Davis and he won’t be joining them.
Zach McAllister didn’t allow a run, but did put two runners on base in his inning of relief. McAllister is frustrating because he has back-end-of-the-pen stuff, but he hasn’t consistently performed at that level. They haven’t given up on him because he’s still under team control through 2018 but they have some arms in the minors who could push him for his job soon. The stretch run this season will be critical for his future in Cleveland.