The big reunion comes tomorrow. That's when the White Sox will face off against former teammate Jake Peavy in the second game of a three-game weekend set in Boston. But the opposing pitcher in Friday's debut is another familiar face.
Ryan Dempster will be on the bump for the Red Sox when the pair of Sox start their series Friday night at Fenway Park. You can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet, starting with SportsTalk Live at 5 p.m. Game coverage from Boston begins at 6 p.m., and be sure to hang around after the final out for all the analysis on White Sox Postgame Live.
Though he never wore silver and black like Peavy, Dempster had his share of appearances against the White Sox when he played for the Cubs. And the South Siders are hoping they have the same success against him on Friday they did when he called Wrigley Field home.
In 14 career appearances (seven starts) against the White Sox, Dempster is 2-5 with a 5.03 ERA. He's allowed 30 runs on 57 hits — including seven homers — in just 48 1/3 innings. This will be the right-hander's first start against the White Sox since coming over to the American League at last year's trade deadline. He didn't face them last year as a Texas Ranger.
Though the guy who had most memorable White Sox hit off Dempster is gone — who could forget A.J. Pierzynski's ninth-inning, three-run shot to beat the Cubs back on July 1, 2006 — there are still a few White Sox left who used to tangle with Dempster in those Crosstown games. Strangely, however, they didn't have the same success the team as a whole did. Paul Konerko is hitting just .167 in his career against Dempster, while Gordon Beckham enters Friday with a .214 average. Alexei Ramirez is a different story. He's 7-for-17 lifetime vs. Dempster with a homer.
Then of course there's Adam Dunn, who faced Dempster plenty during his days in the National League. He enters tonight's tilt with a .600 on-base percentage and a whopping 1.306 OPS vs. Dempster.
The Red Sox will provide a tough opponent, though, as they sit atop the AL East with a 79-56 record. It's a much different view from the one the White Sox have at the bottom of the AL Central. But White Sox starter Hector Santiago has pitched well of late, going 1-0 in his last three outings, allowing a total of four earned runs in 17 1/3 innings. That includes two games against playoff-bound opponents from Detroit and Texas. After a string of bad luck that saw seven straight Santiago starts end in team losses, the White Sox have been winners in each of his past four outings.