After a rocky start to his tenure with the Boston Red Sox, Doug Fister had settled down to help solidify the back end of the rotation.
When Dave Dombrowski and the Boston Red Sox added Doug Fister, our pitching staff was in deep trouble.
David Price has had constant elbow problems all season and it finally caught up to him on July 25. Steven Wright suffered a season-ending knee injury. Eduardo Rodriguez was pitching fantastic for the Red Sox before he went out with knee problems too.
So when the Red Sox signed Fister, they were looking for someone to hold the back of the rotation together. Fister struggled through his first five appearances, posting a 6.73 ERA. He came in against the Seattle Mariners in relief duty to lock up a victory. He was given a one run lead and could not hold it. He gave up a one run lead with a wild pitch and an infield single.
He was in a rut and did not have very good control of his pitches. Fister definitely had to make some changes.
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The first signs of Fister turning his season around came on July 31 when he notched his first win of the season against one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Cleveland Indians. Based on his track record, Red Sox Nation shared a feeling of nervousness. Man, did he prove us wrong. Fister threw seven innings of five-hit ball, shutting down one of the best offenses in the American League.
Fister explained to Mass Live’s Jen McCaffrey after the game that his body was flying open too much in the midst of his delivery, forcing his arm slot higher, which in turn took away his deception and led to balls creeping up in the strike zone, easier for batters to hit.
We thought it was sort of a one hit wonder. That he had caught lightning in a bottle. We did not know that he would keep it going. Fister threw six innings against the Chicago White Sox, allowing only three runs.
It seems as if those changes he made to his mechanics have made all the difference in the world. Fister was a mess in the beginning of his Red Sox tenure. With some changes to his mechanics, he has seemed to be in control of his pitches again. The Red Sox are hoping he continues this good pitching all the way into the postseason. Having a trustworthy pitcher like Fister at the back of our rotation will be as important as anything.
While having Chris Sale is huge, he cannot pitch every day. So having consistent performances from Rodriguez, Drew Pomeranz, and now Fister, will be key to bringing the World Series trophy back to Beantown.