Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 8/19/13
BOSTON — Ryan Dempster gave baseball fans everywhere some fantastic water cooler material for Monday. Dempster drilled Alex Rodriguez with a pitch in the second inning of Sunday’s game after throwing three straight pitches inside, including one behind the controversial slugger. The sequence caused quite the stir at Fenway Park, and it’s the perfect starting point for all Monday morning small talk. But once we move past the incident, which was obviously entertaining, we’ll see that it overshadowed a more important story in the Red Sox’ 9-6 loss to the Yankees. The real — albeit boring by comparison — story is that Dempster simply cannot beat the boys in pinstripes, and he isn’t exactly in the best place as we get deeper into August. Dempster entered Sunday’s rubber match winless in his career against the Yankees, and he exited the contest the same way. Dempster surrendered seven earned runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings of work while suffering the loss, running his career record against New York to 0-6 in eight starts. That alone is concerning given that the Red Sox have seven more games against the Yankees, but it’s even more discouraging because it compounds some issues that are already plaguing Dempster. The Red Sox won six straight games that Dempster started before Sunday’s defeat — although he didn’t factor in any of the decisions — and the right-hander was excellent in his last outing against the Blue Jays. Overall, the month of August hasn’t been too kind to the veteran, though, and he’ll need to pitch better down the stretch. Dempster now has a 7.40 ERA in four August starts. He has given up seven runs in two of those outings, including Sunday, and his season ERA has gone from 4.24 to 4.77 in that span. Dempster has had the benefit of substantial run support, but even a good offensive showing couldn’t bail him out Sunday. Dempster ran into trouble in the second inning after plunking Rodriguez, which Dempster said wasn’t intentional despite the benches clearing, warnings being issued and Joe Girardi getting ejected. Curtis Granderson doubled down the first base line, and Eduardo Nunez put New York on the scoreboard with a single into center field. Lyle Overbay then tied the score at two apiece with a sacrifice fly. “I made a good pitch to Granderson and it just got by [Daniel] Nava,” Dempster said. “If that ball’s a foot to the right, we’re talking a double play ball and a different situation. Still, after the Nunez hit, I was able to calm the inning down and then I pitched well until the sixth inning.” Things really unraveled in the sixth, which Rodriguez led off with a towering home run to straightaway center field. Nunez and Overbay both singled before Dempster issued a four-pitch walk to the Yankees’ No. 9 hitter, Chris Stewart. That ended his night. “I just didn’t make enough quality pitches in the sixth inning and that’s really the story of the game,” Dempster said. “When you sit there and you let them creep back in it, especially the bottom of the lineup, that’s the time when you’ve got to close the door and then hand the ball over to somebody and [you can’t] expect them to get out of a bases loaded [situation]. That’s a lot to ask. I just didn’t do my job tonight, and that’s the most frustrating part and that’s probably the part I’m most angry about.” Drake Britton relieved Dempster with the bags packed, and Brett Gardner drove the rookie’s second pitch into the right-center field gap for a bases-clearing triple that gave the Yankees a 7-6 lead. New York never looked back. Dempster and the Red Sox will have to quickly put Sunday’s game in the rearview mirror. They start up a three-game series against the Giants on Monday, and then it’s on to Los Angeles for three games against the Dodgers, who are the hottest team in baseball. If the starting pitching doesn’t become more consistent, it’s going to be difficult for the Red Sox to break out of their brief swoon, which has seen them lose seven of their last 10 games. The lasting image of Sunday’s game is Dempster hitting Rodriguez near the shoulder with a pitch. The more important image is the Yankees celebrating a series victory on the Fenway Park infield after dealing Dempster another defeat. Click here to see Dempster drill A-Rod >> Click here to read more about Dempster >> Click here to see Girardo discuss the incident >> Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here. Filed under: Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Ricky Doyle, Ryan Dempster, Top Stories

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Bulls trade Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, No. 7 pick

Top 10 takeaways from the 2017 NBA Draft

John Calipari thinks the one-and-done system is working just fine

Luke Walton responds to LaVar Ball saying Lonzo will lead Lakers to playoffs

Report: Spurs, Cavs trade talks now include LaMarcus Aldridge

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LaVar Ball says ‘Zeus and Jesus’ told him Lonzo would go to Lakers

Cavs are reportedly talking about a trade for Danny Green with Spurs

Kings reportedly showing major interest in Andre Drummond

WATCH: George Springer exits game after HBP

Chiefs part ways with GM John Dorsey

Oilers, Islanders swap Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

It’s quarterback contract silly season, starting with Derek Carr

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

2017 NBA Mock Draft

Box Score 6/22: Emotion-filled Knight for Pens fans, Preds fans... and Knicks fans

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'Golden Knights will begin with a Fleury of activity' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Ricky Davis Award for most irrationally confident shooter

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

Which vets the Vegas Golden Knights should build around

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

It’s quarterback contract silly season, starting with Derek Carr

The 'Golden Knights will begin with a Fleury of activity' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Ricky Davis Award for most irrationally confident shooter

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

Which vets the Vegas Golden Knights should build around

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker