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Sunday, 21 July 2013 22:05

Ryan Dempster, not Jon Lester to take mound tonight vs. Yankees

Written by 

Christopher Evans/ Boston Herald

BOSTON--  According to a report from Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell announced on Saturday that Ryan Dempster, not Jon Lester would be on the bump for tonight’s series finale against the New York Yankees. Lester will start on Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.

There is apparently nothing wrong on the injury front with Lester as Farrell said that the pushed start came because after Lester’s return from the All-Star break, they decided he could use a couple more days of rest.

This is a common occurrence for the Tacoma, Wash. native as he had eight days between starts at the break last season. In 2011, the scenario was different as he was on the DL over the break with a shoulder strain according to the report, causing him to go 20 days between starts. In the 2009 and 2010 seasons, he had eight days between starts and in 2008, the break for him was 12 days.

Lester’s last start came in Oakland last Saturday, and he put up respectable numbers pitching 6.1 innings and giving up six hits in correlation with three runs (all earned) while walking three batters and striking out four. He threw 100 pitches, marking the 15th time in 18 starts that he has thrown at least 100 pitches.

Dempster has faced the Yankees once this season, and that came in the season-opening series in April. He took the loss, giving up five hits and three runs (all earned) while walking four and striking out eight.  He also gave up a home run to former Red Sox Kevin Youkilis, one of the 20 dingers he has surrendered this season.

Overall, the former Chicago Cub sports a 5-8 mark this season and dons a 4.50 ERA in correlation with 104 strikeouts to only 50 walks. He has recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts twice, the first time being back on April 15 against the rival Tampa Bay Rays in a 3-2 victory, while the second time occurred on April 26 against the Houston Astros in a 7-3 victory.

With Lester having recorded a 2-6 mark with a 6.27 ERA in his last 11 starts, rest can only help him. Now, it is Dempster’s time to shine as the spotlight of Sunday Night Baseball will shine even brighter as two adversaries go toe-to-toe, looking to secure the rubber match (and bragging rights) in this installment of a classic series.