With Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz setting a solid tone for the Red Sox during their first two games in New York, it was Ryan Dempster‘s turn to join the pitching brigade as the Sox tried for a sweep in the series finale.
But, as usually happens when Dempster sees pinstripes, it didn’t work out for him or the Sox. He came in 0-4 with a 7.62 ERA in five starts lifetime vs New York and it was more of the same as the Yankees defeated the Red Sox 4-2.
Brett Gardner then hit a solo home run to right to lead off the third and from there it was lights out for Dempster. He ended up going 5 innings and allowing 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 4 walks and 8 strikeouts. Not exactly awe inspiring.
Offensively, the Sox got off to a weird start as Shane Victorino, who singled in the first inning and advanced to second on another single by Mike Napoli, was thrown out at home while attempting to take two bases on an Andy Pettitte wild pitch.
From there the bats were quiet vs Pettitte, who went eight strong, until the 7th inning when, with two out, Will Middlebrooks (2 for 4, RBI) singled and was immediately doubled home by Jackie Bradley, Jr. to break up the shutout.
The Sox tried to rally in the 9th inning in Mariano Rivera‘s first appearance since last May. They put two on and scored one run on a Middlebrooks ground out but Rivera then struck out Bradley looking to end the game.
As far as Dempster? He is what he is, a 36-year old veteran who will probably be a work in progress all season. He will not be the difference between the Sox having a big year or not. His job is to give them innings. Hopefully there will be more good than bad.
But make no mistake, this was a very good series for the Red Sox. It was important for them to win at least two against an undermanned Yankees team and they got it done. And, as a bonus, their two young aces pitched well and kept the Yanks down. The team looks confident and back to normal after the chaos of 2012.
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