Although Ryan Dempster missed out on an opportunity to make Red Sox strikeout history, he garnered something that he values even more highly: A win.
Dempster — who joined Pedro Martinez as the only two pitchers in franchise history to punch out seven or more batters in their first five starts for Boston — didn’t record his first strikeout until the fourth inning, and finished with just four strikeouts on the night. However, while pitching to contact, after Brett Lawrie led off the first with a homer, he shut down Toronto over the duration of his six-inning outing, limiting Toronto to three singles and three walks over the duration of his efficient outing in positioning the Sox for a 3-1 victory in the Rogers Centre.
When the Sox signed Dempster to a two-year, $26.5 million deal this offseason, he was expected to offer a reliable source of innings. Increasingly, he’s been that, with four straight outings of at least six innings.
At the same time, there were questions about how he would adapt to the AL East. With Thursday’s outing, he’s now faced all four of his divisional opponents, with a 2.34 ERA in 23 innings, 29 strikeouts and 11 walks.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
– In an unexpected turn of events, when the Red Sox looked to lock down a 3-1 lead in the ninth inning, it was Joel Hanrahan rather than Andrew Bailey who secured the save. Hanrahan tossed a scoreless ninth for the 100th save of his career, working around a leadoff single by getting an infield pop-up and a game-ending double play.
– Mike Carp continued his dazzling early-season performance as a role player, going 1-for-3 with an RBI single and a walk. In 31 plate appearances, Carp has driven in eight runs while forging a .464/.516/1.000 line.
– Mike Napoli launched his major league-leading 15th double of the season, though that was his only hit as part of a 1-for-5 night in which he punched out twice and grounded into a double play.
– Junichi Tazawa once again came into a game and extinguished a rally. Summoned with two on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, he initially wavered, issuing a walk to Brett Lawrie to load the bases, but recovered to blow away Adam Lind with a 95 mph fastball to end the inning. Tazawa has now stranded 10 of the 11 runners he’s inherited.
That said, there may be questions about whether he’s dealing with some early season fatigue. Tazawa did not walk a batter in any of his first 11 appearances this season while throwing 69 percent of his pitches for strikes. Thursday marked his third straight outing in which he permitted a walk, and his second appearance in his last three in which he threw more balls (6) than strikes (5); he has a 50 percent strike rate in that time (23 of 46 pitches for strikes).
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– Dustin Pedroia went 0-for-5 (though he did reach on an error), snapping an eight-game hitting streak. It was just his second game this year in which he’s failed to reach base by hit or walk.
– Though the Sox had plenty of opportunities with runners on base, they failed to capitalize on most of those. The team went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position, leaving 12 runners on base.
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Heath Evans of the NFL Network joins Mut and Lou to talk how Revis and Browner impact the Patriots defense, the Vince Wilfork Situation, and the arms race between Denver and New England
We talk Revis with his friend and mentor, former Patriot Ty Law.
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Dave O'Brien and Joe Castiglione talk with Red Sox starting left fielder, Grady Sizemore. grady talks about what it was like to hit a home run off his old teammate, C.C. Sabathia, and his reaction to not seeing Koji on the mound in a save situation.
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Kevin Millar makes his weekly appearance to discuss Michael Pineda's apparent pine tar on his hand, the Red Sox loss to the Yankees, and the team's pitching.
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Jack Edwards talks about the Bruins stretch run to the playoffs and rants about the NCAA.
Shawn Thornton joined the show to preview the Red Wings series and the one year anniversary of the Marathon Bombings.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today the guys discussed Aaron Hernandez getting in more jailhouse trouble.
Our montage to honor all those impacted by the terrorist attacks one year ago.
Joe Andruzzi witnessed the attacks first-hand and sprung into action to help others when the blasts went off on Boylston Street. The former Patriots OL joined the show to discuss and reflect on that day.
Mut, Merloni and Christian Fauria reflect on the tragic events on April 15th 2013 at the Boston Marathon and discuss how the city has changed.
We speak with Matt Chatham, who re-tells his story from that fateful Monday and looks ahead to brighter things, including this year's marathon.
Dale, Michael and Steve Lyons reflect back on the event last year, and the good that has taken place since then as Boston came together.
We speak with David Abel of the Boston Globe, who penned the incredible piece on the Richard Family in this past weekend's Boston Globe.
Nifty jumps on the Planet for an hour.
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Scott and Ben recap WrestleMania 30 and talk about the death of the Ultimate Warrior.
It’s been a busy week across the NFL & with the College Football Draft Hopefuls so Jim Hackett & Pete Davidson plowed through as much as you can handle, including news about The Jets & their interest in Chris Johnson, the LSU Pro Day, rumors and news surrounding free agents & recent signings like Santonio Holmes, DeSean Jackson & Nate Burleson. Then it’s all about the 2014 Rookie Wide Receiver class that just continues to grow and impress. There’s a lot here to keep you informed as the offseason heats up and the draft approaches. Get ready!
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