The Boston Red Sox spent the first half of the season fretting about the state of their pitching rotation but appear to be in pretty good shape so far in the second half. The Red Sox will welcome the newest addition to that staff on Wednesday when Drew Pomeranz takes the mound in the finale of a two-game interleague set against the visiting San Francisco Giants.
Boston took the series opener 4-0 on Tuesday and has watched its pitching staff surrender a total of eight runs in four games since the All-Star break, allowing Pomeranz to ease into his transition back to the American League. “It’s pretty exciting coming here, being on a team that all they want to do is win out there,” Pomeranz told reporters. “I’m excited to get out there on the mound and get that first start under my belt and keep going.” The Giants are struggling since the break with losses in four straight games and have totaled three runs in the last two contests. All-Star first baseman Brandon Belt is having the most difficulty getting his feet under him after the break and is 0-for-16 with eight strikeouts in the last four contests.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, CSN Bay Area (San Francisco), NESN (Boston)
Giants – 2B J. Panik (15-Day DL, concussion), SP M. Cain (Probable Wednesday, hamstring), RP C. Gearrin (15-Day DL, shoulder), 3B M. Duffy (15-Day DL, achilles), RF H. Pence (15-Day DL, hamstring).
Red Sox – RP K. Uehara (Doubtful Wednesday, pectoral), LF C. Young (15-Day DL, hamstring), RP J. Tazawa (15-Day DL, shoulder), RP C. Kimbrel (15-Day DL, knee).
WEATHER REPORT: It’s going to be a perfect night for baseball at Boston’s Fenway Park on Wednesday evening. Clear skies, zero percent chance of rain, low humidity, and temperatures in the low 80’s for first pitch (dropping to mid-70’s by later in the game). The wind will be swirling but shouldn’t be a factor at only 5 mph.
HOT FAN BATTLE:
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants RH Matt Cain (1-5, 5.34 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (8-7, 2.47)
Cain has been out over a month with a hamstring injury originally suffered on May 27. The Alabama native tried to make a quick comeback on June 13 against Milwaukee but was ripped for three runs on five hits and five walks over 3 2/3 innings before heading back to the disabled list. Cain, who is facing Boston for the second time his career, was hammered for nine runs on 10 hits over four innings in his last minor league rehab start on Friday.
Pomeranz made the National League All-Star team for San Diego before coming over to the Red Sox in a deal that sent away top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza. Pomeranz dominated in his final three starts for the Padres before the break, allowing a total of one run and 10 hits in 21 innings. The 27-year-old former first-round draft pick had one of his best starts of the season at San Francisco on May 23, scattering two hits over seven scoreless innings without factoring in the decision.
* Giants are 5-23 in their last 28 road games vs. a team with a winning record.
* Giants are 1-6 in Cain’s last 7 road starts.
* Red Sox are 8-0 in their last 8 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
* Under is 6-0 in Red Sox last 6 overall.
* Giants are 0-4 in the last 4 meetings in Boston.
* Home team is 4-0 in Scheurwater’s last 4 games behind home plate.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The Covers public is favoring the home favorite Boston Red Sox at a rate of 62 percent. Totals wagers are trending in the direction of Under 10.5 at 60 percent. View full consensus data here.