Dempster in the fray

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Dempster in the fray

This afternoon, the Red Sox introduced Ryan Dempster during a press conference at Fenway Park. And all in all, the whole thing was pretty standard.

From everything I've read, the event basically just consisted of Dempster telling the world how much he's looking forward to playing in Boston, the Sox telling the world how excited they are to trot Dempster out to the mound every fifth day and both sides going back and forth with compliments until the microphone burst into flames.

And that's fine. But I can't believe that no one asked about Harry Caray!

It remains to be seen how much Ryan Dempster will help the Sox this season. Considering he's on the books for 26.5M over the next two years, you'd certainly hope so, but we really can't be sure.

On one hand, Dempster's registered double digit wins in each of the last five seasons, and over that time he's averaged 32 starts a year and finished only one season with a plus-4.00 ERA. That's not bad. On the other hand, he'll turn 36 in May, has played 14 and a half of his 15 Major League seasons in the National League and posted a 5.09 ERA and 1.435 WHIP after being traded to Texas last summer. That's not good.

But either way, regardless of how dominant he is on the mound, I'm guessing that Dempster will inject a little quirkiness and humor to the Sox recently-miserable clubhouse. And that's cool. Although for 26.5M, they probably could have booked Seinfeld.
Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Mike Felger and Dan Shaughnessy discuss the Boston Red Sox bouncing back from their slump with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Quotes, notes and stars: Fourth inning 'a grind' for Porcello

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Quotes, notes and stars: Fourth inning 'a grind' for Porcello

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 8-2 win over Tampa Bay

 

QUOTES

"I can't say enough about the way our position players have continued to grind away. . . Tonight was just another example of that.'' - John Farrell.

"He's been everything that we could have hoped. You look to a starting pitcher to go out and be consistent every fifth day -- he's been a model of that for us.'' - Farrell on Rick Porcello.

"It's nice to come back with a statement game tonight. The past couple of week haven't been good for us, so it was nice to get back on the right track tonight.'' - Travis Shaw.

"Preventing them from scoring first was big and then limiting the big inning. The fourth inning was a grind. I dug myself a hole and had to find a way out of it.'' - Rick Porcello.

 

NOTES

* Rick Porcello became the first Red Sox starter to record a win since David Price beat Seattle on Jume 19.

* Porcello is unbeaten over his last eight starts, going 3-0 with five no-decisions.

* Porcello had gone 19 straight starts without allowing more than two walks, the longest such streak for a Red Sox starter since Curt Schilling went 33 in a row.

* The Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak and are one of two teams (Cleveland is the other) to not have lost four straight this season.

* Boston has a major league-leading 22 games in which it has scored eight or more runs.

* The first six hitters in the Red Sox lineup were 11-for-24, while the bottom three were a combined 0-for-13.

* Travis Shaw's home run was measured at 449 feet, the second-longest homer by a Red Sox player this season.

* In one night, Travis Shaw had more RBI (five) than he had in his previous 27 games (four).

* David Ortiz tied Frank Thomas in career RBI (1,704); both are in 23rd place.

 

STARS

1) Travis Shaw

Shaw belted out three hits -- including his first homer in the month of June -- and knocked in five RBI, tying a career high.

2) Rick Porcello

In a perfect world, Porcello would have gone a little deeper, but kept the Rays off the scoreboard early and helped set the tone for the night.

3) Hanley Ramirez

Ramirez reached base five times with two hits -- both singles -- and three walks - one intentional - and seemed to be in the middle of every Red Sox rally.