A Tigers righty fanned 13 hitters on Labor Day. It wasn't Justin Verlander. Not Max Scherzer, either. Rather, Doug Fister, the 6-foot-8 beanpole known more for limiting walks and inducing hitters to chase his four-pitch mix off the plate, K'd 13 Cleveland Indians as Detroit stretched its AL Central division lead to 7.5 games.
Here's a breakdown of Fister's baker's dozen:
- Eight on fastballs (4 swinging, 4 looking)
- Four on curveballs (3 swinging, 1 looking)
- One on a changeup (1 swinging)
Nine of Fister's punch outs came against left-handed hitters. He got three swings and misses for a K with the fastball vs. lefties, and caught three others looking. Two swung through curveballs, and one chased a changeup off the plate:
Against righties, Fister got one swinging strikeout and one K looking with the fastball. His curve also got one swinging K and one strikeout looking:
That curveball was key to Fister getting ahead in the count and being in a position to punch out hitters. He threw 21 of his 26 curves for strikes on Monday, locating them low and inside or high and away to lefties:
Since Detroit acquired him on July 30 (along with David Pauley) from the Mariners for LHP Charlie Furbush, RHP Chance Ruffin, 3B Francisco Martinez and OF Casper Wells, Fister has done his best Cliff Lee impression. He's got a 36-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 2.68 fielding-independent ERA in 44.1 innings. Combine that with his work as a Mariner, and the former seventh-round pick who didn't sniff Seattle prospect lists has 4.5 Wins Above Replacement this season. That's more than Tim Lincecum and Chris Carpenter, among many others. Who knew?