John Lackey started the run of excellence with a truly outstanding start against the Padres on Tuesday, tossing eight innings and allowing just one run. The next day, Lester pitched seven innings, allowing just a single run, but taking a no-decision. Allen Webster completed the sweep of the Padres on Thursday with six innings pitched, two earned runs allowed, and his first major league win.
Yesterday's game saw Felix Doubront make it through 6.2 innings and give up two earned runs in a win to kick off the ten-day West Coast road trip. Dempster will look to continue this run of spectacular performances tonight as he faces off against Angels starter Jerome Williams. The usual Angels suspects are those who have fared the best against Dempster in their careers: Albert Pujols is 21-for-60 with eight home runs, Mike Trout is 4-for-10 with one home run, and, interestingly enough, Mark Trumbo is 5-for-10 with a home run.
But Dempster should be able to depend on his teammates, as those who have faced Williams in the past have done pretty well for themselves: Mike Napoli is 6-for-14 with two home runs, Mike Carp is 3-for-10 with no homers but four RBIs, and David Ortiz is 3-for-5 with two home runs. However, I'd hazard a guess that Big Papi might not see too many pitches to hit after his towering homer off of Dane De La Rosa last night clinched the win for the Sox.
It's not as if Dempster's last start was anything to be ashamed off, as he was just two outs shy of a quality start when he was pulled for Craig Breslow, but his teammates have all managed to show him up since then. Obviously Dempster's the kind of player who shows up determined to win, regardless of what his teammates have been up to - but it never hurts to have a little extra motivation.