Five batters into the game, Drew Pomeranz was already on one knee, watching a ball sail into the left field bleachers, with Chris Taylor circling the bases after hitting a three-run homer.
That was just the start of a frustrating night for the lefty, who surrendered even runs and nine hits in 4-1/3 innings as the Giants (31-41) fell 9-2 to the Dodgers (50-25) on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
Pomeranz (L, 2-7, 7.09 ERA), who came into the start allowing no earned runs in 10 innings over his last two starts, was hammered by the high-octane Dodgers lineup. After the three-run first, Pomeranz gave up a lead-off solo homer (1) to Kyle Garlick in the second, then 2 more runs in the third when the Dodgers strung together four hits.
Pomeranz said he wasn’t doing the things that he did his last two starts. He hit the strike zone, but the wrong part of it, leaving pitches up and vulnerable:
“Just struggled with being consistent. … That’s what happens when you miss up in the zone, especially when you’re in bad counts.”
Specifically, manager Bruce Bochy said, Pomeranz struggled in 1-1 counts and fell behind to hitters. He threw 99 pitches and didn’t last five innings. Pomeranz fell to 2-7 on the year, and 0-2 with a 5.89 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers this year.
He was finally chased in the fifth after Taylor drilled his second homer (7) of the game out to left to put the Dodgers ahead 7-1. After recording a 19.16 ERA in four starts in the month of May, Pomeranz had back-to-back solid starts to kick off the month of June. Against these same Dodgers on June 7, he pitched five scoreless innings.
On Wednesday, the Dodgers crushed just about everything he sent their way from the start. Pomeranz said:
“You don’t want to be in a hole right out of the gate. That’s not good for any team, not good for anyone.”
Not much was good for the Giants, or has been good for much of this season. Once again, save for solo home runs by Tyler Austin (6) and Mike Yastrzemski (3), the Giants offense was nearly nonexistent. Even with Dodgers starter Rich Hill departing after one inning with left forearm discomfort, they managed just four hits in eight innings against the bullpen.
“You’d like to think we’d get the offense going with what happened tonight.”
They couldn’t. Even knowing they would face relievers for eight innings, the Giants couldn’t take advantage. Sure, Austin said, the Dodgers bullpen is solid:
“From top to bottom, they’re all very good. Ultimately, that’s what it is. they pitch to their strengths and do a really good job of it.”
But the good teams sense a chance to steal a win, and they pounce. The Giants, against the likes of Dylan Floro and Joe Kelly, looked lifeless. That’s why they are a full 17.5 games back of first place.
“We’re not swinging the bats very well. That’s pretty obvious.”
No pitching, no hitting — not a very good recipe against a first place team.
The Giants conclude the four-game set against the Dodgers on Thursday, with Madison Bumgarner taking the mound against Julio Urias.
An hour before first pitch, center fielder Stephen Duggar was scratched with lower back tightness. Yastrzemski replaced him in the lineup. Bochy said Duggar’s back stiffened up before the game and he is day-to-day. … Yastrzemski has recorded a hit in three of five games against the Dodgers this season.