BOSTON (CBS) – As Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz took their turn in the Boston rotation, easily handling the New York Yankees in the first two games of the 2013 season, Ryan Dempster was patiently awaiting his turn.
That wait finally ends Thursday night as Dempster makes his Red Sox debut, trying to complete the sweep in New York.
“You get that anxious feeling that you want the season to start. Even though it started on Monday, for me it starts (tonight).” Dempster said from Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. “I’m just looking to go out there and getting that first one out-of-the-way.”
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After their rotation posted some of the worst numbers in team history, Boston went out and inked Dempster to a two-year deal in the off-season. Last season, after enjoying a successful half-season with the Chicago Cubs, Dempster was traded to the Texas Rangers and went 7-3 with a 5.09 ERA in his first American League experience. Now he finds himself not only in the AL, but the AL East.
But for Dempster, his approach will remain the same.
“You just have to continue to make pitches and as many quality pitches,” he explained. “The big adjustment is you’re facing a bona-fide middle of the order guy and not a pitcher. Other than that the game is all the same.”
An innings-eater his entire 15-year-career, Dempster is eager to continue his consistency with a new team. As Boston’s third starter, he will play a crucial role in the team’s success this season.
“My goal is 30 wins,” he jokingly told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jonny Miller. “If I can win 30 games, I’ll take that. I won’t get greedy and ask for 33 or 34, so I’ll just try to do that.”
In case you couldn’t tell, he’s also a very loose character and a quality guy to add to what was a fractured clubhouse last season. As for the 30 wins, Dempster has only sniffed 20 once in his career – winning 17 games with the Cubs back in 2008. But you can likely pencil the 35-year-old in for 12-15 wins, and count on him to make more quality starts than bad ones.
Dempster’s first go with the Red Sox will be a telling one, as he finds himself winless in five career starts against the Yankees with an 0-4 record and 7.62 ERA.
But as he gets off to a new start with a new team, he’s hoping to exercise those demons.
“They have a good team over there, they always do. You just have to be on your game and be focused out there,” said Dempster. “If you can (execute pitches) and put the ball where you want, hopefully you get the results you want.”