Originally written on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 5/7/13
In a pretty boring 6-1 game in which the Sox got just four its and made three errors, you might expect me to be negative in the post, but I'm going to focus on the positive. With just-decent starts out of staff leaders Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, uncertainty out of the rest of the rotation, and injuries depleting an otherwise good bullpen, the Red Sox really needed a good start out of Ryan Dempster, and they got it. Dempster struck out eight over seven innings. He did give up four runs, but two were unearned -- you can charge those to Pedro Ciriaco, who made back-to-back errors filling in for Will Middlebrooks at 3rd -- and walked one while scattering five hits. Dempster did have some disagreements with the home plate umpire here and there (including on a weird balk call in the 5th), but for the most part he pitched efficiently and effectively and allowed John Farrell to not have to dip too deeply into the bullpen. Craig Breslow (who struggled) and Alex Wilson split time in the 8th, and Wilson stayed out for the 9th. What reservations I had about Dempster upon his signing with Boston -- namely his age, career spent in the NL Central, and struggles in Texas last year -- have been erased by performances like these. The guy is a pro, and he stepped up when the team needed him, even if the end result wasn't what we wanted. The offense was non-existent, as Scott Diamond (insert your own Rihanna joke here, or if you want to dip into last decade you can start humming "Diamonds Are Forever" to yourself) went seven innings, needing just 96 pitches to dispatch Boston hitters. The Sox didn't even perk up until the 9th inning, when Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a homer over the Monster. Jacoby Ellsbury walked, but Shane Victorino grounded into a double play (well, officially he did; he should have been called safe if you ask me) and killed the momentum.  Other important notes: Will Middlebrooks and David Ross collided going for a foul ball, and both players were removed from the game (Ross more or less right away, Will later on). Several of the Sox beat guys mentioned that third base is the weakest spot on the Sox' 40-man roster, as there are no other truly dedicated 3Bs on there. Should he miss time, we're going to see a lot of Ciriaco. Middlebrooks has been so bad this year that I'd be cool with him getting some time on the DL even if the injury is marginal, just to give him a breather and maybe work on mechanics, but with so few other options, we'll have to hope his injury isn't too serious. And manager John Farrell tried really hard to get thrown out, twice complaining to the home plate umpire about a Twins runner being inside the line running down to first base on a play that resulted in an error and two Twins scoring. He had a legitimate complaint (although it wasn't an outrage; he just had an argument) but the umpire refused to consult the first-base umpire, and also refused to run Farrell, despite what appeared to be his best attempts at getting tossed. He's an even-tempered guy. Box score
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