Even though the Detroit Tigers lost Game 2 last night, it wasn’t because of their starting pitcher. Doug Fister, who was acquired last season from the Seattle Mariners, pitched brilliantly for Detroit, surrendering only one run over six innings. Thanks to the absurd W/L statistic, Fister took the loss last night, even though he was in control for a majority of the game. Nevertheless, Fister proved last night that he is one of the most underrated pitchers in the game of baseball.
For the last two seasons, I don’t think there has been a pitcher more overlooked than Fister. The only pitcher that can make a case of being overlooked more is the Giants’ own Ryan Vogelsong, but I’ll take Fister any day of the week. One of the many reasons why Fister is overlooked by fans and the media is because he’s on the same team as Justin Verlander. And while Verlander is obviously the ace for Detroit, Fister acts as the king kicker.
Over the last two seasons, Fister has averaged a 4.5 WAR (5.4 in 2011, 3.6 2012), but since he has a record of 20-24 during that same span, no one thinks of him as a quality no. 2 starter. It also doesn’t help Fister that he doesn’t really do anything flashy on the mound. Outside of being like 6’9, there’s really nothing extraordinary about him, outside of the fact he throws ground balls and doesn’t allow home runs. Those two reasons are why Doug Fister is successful, and why he will continue to be successful for the Tigers.
Being a good pitcher isn’t always about smoke and mirrors; sometimes, efficiency is all a pitcher needs to do to get hitters out.
Doug Fister proves that.