We’ve all had that feeling, right? You know the one: you wake up in the morning, and you just think “well, it’s going to be one of those days that Doug Fister sets an all-time record in pitching prowess”?
It’s your lucky day, folks. Because today, you’re practically a psychic.
The Detroit Tigers, having recently taken over the AL Central lead, very much needed another strong performance from Fister (who has been excellent this month) to hold their slim advantage over the divisional rivals Chicago White Sox. They not only got that today, but folks at Comerica Park were also treated to a bit of history being made by the 28-year old, as Fister has just set a new American League record for consecutive strikeouts with 9.
9 batters. 9 set down on strikes. Even though Fister’s 8.1% swinging strike rate and 7.52 K/9 aren’t too shabby, they’re not exactly numbers of an elite strikeout artist. That’s the role he’s playing today, though, on top of shutting down the Kansas City Royals through the first 7 frames of this afternoon’s game. Forget striking out the side – how about the entire starting lineup?
Fister’s impressive feat was completed in large part due to his 2-seamer, as he set down a whopping 5 batters of the 9 on strikes using the pitch. Of the string of strikeouts, there were only 3 swinging strikes, 1 off a 4-seamer, and 1 each from his slider and change. Swinging strike or not, Fister was a man on a mission today, falling just one strikeout short of Tom Seaver’s all time record of 10 in a row. He was close to it, too, getting ahead 1-2 on Salvador Perez, who was determined not to be a part of this particular kind of history, putting a 1-2 slider in play and grounding out weakly to Jhonny Peralta instead.
The Royals have since come back a bit, getting to Fister for 3 runs 4 hits and a passed ball, taking him out of the game after a solid 7.2 inning outing. Obviously, the win would be more important than the AL record for Fister, but hey, having your name mentioned along with Tom Seaver is never really a bad thing, yes?