Despite the way the game ended, Ryan Dempster was excellent today. My mother, the casual Red Sox fan, remarked that his name looked like "dumpster" (I'm sure he's never heard that one before) - but he pitched as well as you could expect tonight, giving up just two runs in seven full innings.
Unsurprisingly, the Sox bats couldn't get anything going tonight against Phillies' starter Cliff Lee. Indeed, when I saw who they had going for them tonight, I mentally prepared myself for the disappointment of the conclusion of the four-game winning streak. I would like to once again go on record thanking the Phillies for signing Lee back in the 2010-2011 offseason. Everyone figured he'd go to the Rangers or the Yankees, but he surprised us all and went to Philadelphia. If Lee had made a different choice, we'd be suffering at his hands much more frequently.
With Lee and Dempster performing well, that was an impressively quick game. Certainly it helped that the Sox and the Phils scored just four runs between them, but both Dempster and Lee worked at a brisk pace. Indeed, the two starters are exactly what MLB was hoping for with its rules on pitching speed.
It was weird to see Jonathan Papelbon pitching at Fenway Park again. The former Red Sox closer got the save for the Phillies, indicing David Ortiz into grounding out into the shift to end the game. I'm not sure why the boos seemed to be so loud - I don't begrudge Paps for following the money to his current team. The Sox weren't prepared to show him the money he was looking for, and you could argue that we've paid for that bit of thrift with all the closer woes we've had since the departure of #58.