Dempster pitched phenomenally well. He even had a no-no bid going through four. Eventually he gave up two runs in over six innings of work, but all in all I’d say he turned in a fantastic effort. Our pitching staff really deserves recognition for maintaining our position, because the seventh inning, which was when Chicago started to rally, could have gone a lot worse without a solid relief performance.
Dempster was hitless through four. He was amazing. Chicago couldn’t touch him. He just knew exactly what to do, exactly when to do it. His execution was absolutely ideal. He finally cracked in the fifth, but even that wasn’t bad. His first hit, a double, was given up on the first pitch of the inning. And one single and one fielder’s choice later, another single brought the runner to the plate.
We got on the board first, in the third. After Ellsbury led it off with a groundout, Victorino singled, Pedroia popped out, Papi walked, and Gomes got hit, which loaded the bases. And then we got to sit back, relax, and watch the Other Sox get humiliated after walking in the game’s first run. Considering that the batter walking was Napoli, however, I can understand how the Other Sox may have felt some relief that it was, after all, just a walk. Because if Napoli actually turned on the power, things could have been much worse for Chicago.
Drew struck out to lead off the fourth, but then Middlebrooks walked, stole second, moved to third on a groundout by Ellsbury, and scored on a single by Victorino. Then Pedroia doubled, and he and Victorino both scored on a single by Papi. It wasn’t an extra-base hit, but we’ll take what we can get from him right now, until he gets going again.
Dempster gave up a solo shot to lead off the seventh, and one groundout and one triple later, Tazawa induced a flyout and gave up another triple, bringing Chicago to within only one run. But even though we didn’t score again, we won, 4-3. Tazawa, Morales, and Uehara pitched the eighth, and Uehara owned the ninth.
I’ll be taking a break for about a week, and after that we’ll be into September! This is the home stretch; let’s make it count.