|The Tigers # 2 starting pitcher Doug Fister has been outstanding since the trade deadline - he's been one of the best pitchers in all of MLB...check this out... |
Fister delivers on tall order
BY PERRY A. FARRELL
DETROIT FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
Sep 28, 2011
Jim Leyland doesn't know a lot about Doug Fister other than he has pitched lights out since becoming a Tiger and he is 6-feet-8. "I don't really know him all that well," Leyland said before Fister (11-13 but 8-1 as a Tiger) turned in another masterful performance in a 14-0 victory Monday night at Comerica Park. "And I don't want to mess that up so I'm not going to. ...
"He's a good athlete, as you can see. He does all the little things. He's a talented guy. At this point we've caught lightning in a bottle."
The Tigers' 93rd victory of the season kept them in contention with Texas for the second-best record in the American League and a chance to host a first-round divisional series.
The shutout was the team's 14th of the season, the most since 16 during the 2006 season, and it was the largest margin of victory over the Indians since May 19, 1963, when the Tigers won, 14-0, at Tiger Stadium.
Fister didn't walk a batter and struck out nine over eight innings. He has limited teams to two walks or fewer in 28 of his 31 starts with Seattle and Detroit, and he has won a career-best seven straight games.
"The name of the game was defense," Fister said. "Obviously the offense produced a ton of runs tonight; this is what our offense is known for, but the guys behind me were playing tremendous defense. Alex (Avila) was great behind the plate."
Fister even had a couple of web gems of his own.
"That's kind of fun for me; I'm trying to stay sharp on the mound and field my position; it's something I take pride in," Fister said.
Fister set down the first nine batters he faced and was staked to a 1-0 lead on a triple by Ryan Raburn in the second inning.
Fister didn't give up a hit until the fourth inning, when Asdrubal Cabrera guided a single past first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who had three hits and is closing in on a batting title.
While Fister was in control, Cleveland right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (10-3) was struggling.
Acquired the day after the Tigers got Fister, the former Colorado Rockies ace pitched just five innings, giving up nine hits, six earned runs and three walks.
"Doug was really good," Leyland said. "We swung the bats very, very well against a good starting pitcher. We've just got to keep plugging along."
Fister struck out the side in the seventh after two of his teammates -- Don Kelly and Delmon Young -- were hit in the bottom of the sixth. He received a standing ovation from the crowd of 29,886.
"We thought we did a good with our scouts, with our organization and the coaches of picking a guy that we thought could really help us," Leyland said. "But to think that he'd be what he is ... that would be a lie. We had no idea. I'd like to say we looked into crystal ball, but we didn't. We just felt like we needed a starting pitcher. We targeted.
"He was kind of under the radar at the trading deadline and Dave (Dombrowski) was able to pull it off. He made a hell of a deal. The thing that we really liked about it is he's ours for a while. That's the thing that really made it attractive.
"If you get somebody for two months sometimes that's different, but when you have a guy and you have him under control for a while that you really like that's pretty good."
Fister, 27, lowered his ERA for the season to 2.83.