Fister goes four innings for Hens (updated)

Doug Fister looked and sounded like somebody ready to return to the big leagues, tossing four scoreless innings on two hits with five strikeouts Wednesday night in his rehab start for Triple-A Toledo.

He stopped just short of saying he was ready to make his next start with Detroit, waiting to see how his left side feels on Thursday. But he doesn’t expect any hang-ups.

“I feel good. I can’t really ask for anything more right now,” Fister said after his outing. “I let it fly tonight. We’re still going to take it day-by-day, but we’re expecting the best.”

He expects it enough that he was willing to look ahead to his tentatively scheduled return Monday in Seattle against his former club.

“Obviously going back is going to be a little bit of fun,” he said, “and you know what, a little extra competition, it doesn’t change anything about the way I pitch, but it’s always more fun.”

To get back there, though, he had to get through here. Fister, sidelined since April 7 with a left costochondral strain, came to town with a pitch limit of about 75. With Tigers manager Jim Leyland in attendance watching his delivery, Fister threw 68 pitches, 44 of them for strikes.

“The thing I think the whole organization was looking for was he is healthy, he get through it, he’s ready to go out to Seattle in five days,” Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin said.

Fister used up 20 pitches in the first inning, but recovered from a Daniel Nava double off the left-field wall to fan Ryan Lavarnway on a curveball and Lars Anderson on a changeup.

A called third strike in the next inning meant Fister had struck out half of the first six PawSox he faced. From there, he seemed to find his rhythm, working at a quick pace and attacking the strike zone while changing speeds effectively.

“I pitched the same way I would pitch up there, made the same pitches, made the same locations,” he said.

After the opening inning, he didn’t reach a three-ball count until his lone walk with two outs in the fourth, and that came after an 0-2 count to Mauro Lopez. He retired seven straight PawSox before that, then ended his evening with a running catch from Eric Patterson near the left-field wall.

Fister topped out at 89 mph on the Fifth Third Field radar gun, but said he wasn’t worried about his velocity.

“Being able to keep the ball down was the main key for me, throwing the sinker and really the changeup,” Fister said. “But [I was] just trying to get all the pitches in, get some work in, really trying to focus on throwing the cutter a little bit more and just trying to be able to get back into the mental game of things too. …

“Tonight was just a matter of coming in here and trying to do things as normal as possible, trying to not favor [the injury] at all. At the beginning, I wasn’t trying to go 110 percent. It was a matter of gradually progressing into this and take it step and step. I felt good with it, so I took it to where I felt like I needed to go. That’s kind of where we’re at now.”

51 Comments

That is good news, but won’t matter a bit if this team doesn’t start hitting some!

That is almost word for word what I was going to post!

I’ll bet there was a good crowd there. If I lived a little bit closer, I might have tried to make that game. Weather was beautiful tonight for a ballgame.
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Right now, Baltimore is beating up the Yankees. For some reason, I’m not really worried about our team right now. Kansas City always seems to give us fits. Verlander pitched great.

Actually, it was an OK crowd, not great. Somewhere around 4000-5000.

We’ll need all the pitching we can get. Interesting to note that the Tigers trail the Tampa Bay Rays in every offensive category. So much for reputation, hey? If you’re an OPS person, we’re 11th of 14 in the AL. There’s no reason for this.
I’m not liking the body language I see during our ABs. We get a pitch called against us, and there are quite a few, and the AB is all but over.
Lost 9 of 12. We’re better than this.

OPS is my favorite stat. Out of curiosity what kind of changes would you make if you were the skip or gm – i mean, to change our OPS rankings.

Oh, puke, Weaver threw a no-no.

I agree it couldn’t happen to a bigger jerk!

I watched the game on MiLB.TV, and Fister looked pretty sharp. Will be nice to have him back in the rotation, but hoping the Tigers can produce runs for him. At what point does Verlander say, ‘WTF-why can’t these guys produce more than 2 runs a game when I’m pitching?’. He’s pitched well enough to get the win in basically every outing, but they just don’t hit when he’s on the hill so far this season. No excuse for not giving your ace some run support. I hope Fister gets a bit more..
-Mike
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

He won 24 games last year, and he can still win that many and more this year, but do you think he’ll be able to repeat that?
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It’s too early to tell, imo.

They offense needs to give him a little support, if he’s going to repeat that performance.
–Mike
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

it is a tall order to think he can have as amazing of a season as last year, he set the bar so high and he needs all the conditions to go right to do it again, there are just so many factors.

between the lack of run support and his friends not helping in the bullpen too – Benoit and Valverde are just out of sync.

Boesch may be coming around. But we absolutely need Jhonny Peralta contributing and with power. I like him but he has to justify his role on this team with his bat.
Same goes for Raburn and Avila. Fielder will come around, he is a proven hitter.
I have said this too often but these lineup wide slumps are mysterious. Who do you blame? It can’t all be coincidence.
I don’t much like McLendon but I will give him credit for focusing on AJ and apparently helping him. But he also needs to be an effective coach with the more veteran players without obvious flaws in their swing.

Among our hitters, Cabrera, Martinez, Fielder, and Peralta have the best bubblegum cards. All of these players have over 1000 games under their belt. Not their first rodeo. They are the nucleus of our offense. Unfortunately, V-Mart will be out for much if not all of the season. If we line our young pups up in order we have Young, Avila, Jackson, Boesch, Raburn and Dirks trying to support these leaders in the team goal of getting back to the playoffs. Not to be forgotten are our bench players Kelly, Laird, and Santiago. They will likely contribute along the way. Last year Kelly and Santiago were key players in the PLAYOFFS!!! Oh, by the way, if Brad Eldred is given 140 to 160 at bats over the next two months he may hit us six to twelve homers. Here’s a lineup against righthanded pitching that other playoff teams might not want to face in October.

Jackson CF
Dirks LF
Cabrera 3B
Fielder 1B
Martinez DH
Peralta SS
Avila C
Raburn 2B
Boesch RF

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What we really need is a 5 or 6 game win streak. Go Tigers!!!!!!!

Thought I’d share something. My 7 year old daughter is a huge fan of Boesch. She has inherited my love of the Tigers and sits to watch games with me, which I adore, but Brennan is her #1 guy. She had to write an essay of who she would want to be stuck on an island with, and she picked Boesch! Apparently she did not want to pick me and have her dad upset and vice versa. In it she writes that on the island he would teach her to play baseball and they would play monopoly together and swim in the ocean.

Now I love this, but also wonder if my daughter will become a stalker? I am half tempted to send it to Boesch, it is heart warming and likely how I felt about Trammell back in the day (still do I think..)

Cute!

If that island has some good waves, Brennan could teach her to surf.

Thanks for sharing. My love used to be Mr. Tiger, Al Kaline. And, even at my old, crusty age, I still fall in love with them.

Great to hear, hopefully this will be the spark we need, not that there hasn’t been games we have played well but it is too inconsistent and needs to get fixed this month. Cant go into July at .500, too good of a ball club in my opinion.

We just need to get on a roll and haven’t been able to do that recently. When it happens, look for lightening to strike. I’m still very confident in them.

I have to agree. If they get fister back and just one more regular player hits consistantly i believe the rest will follow and then its good times but we need the team to play as one no more showboating trying to do it on your own.

Kathy, you and me both!! (I might want to temper that four letter word that begins with “L” though!!!!

Gotta have that. Some people (teams) got it and some don’t.

I see that Zach Minor pitched in relief as well. Any word on how he is throwing?

I talked with Zach while I was down there last night. He said he’s getting back to game speed while starting out in extending spring training with the Royals before the trade. Healthwise, he says his arm feels better than it has since 2007 or ’08, not just because of the Tommy John surgery but because they fixed a flexor tendon tear while they were in there.

Thanks for the update!

He’s a Miner like a coal miner not a minor leaguer. Well right now he is. Not sure about putting so much effort into creating a reunion of the 09 team. Bad memories glore.

If they can get a healthy Fister back and a consistent JV, along with Porcello and his sinker under control, then the pitching should be ok with Smyly and/or Max showing up w/control and location. It’s been the hitting that has absolutely “stunk” so far this season. For a team that was picked to win the Central running away, they are a LONG way from separating themselves from the pack. I would like to see someone with a good eye and bat control in the 2nd spot ahead of Miggy and Prince. Move Boesch down to the 5th or 7th spot. Someday I would like to see a lineup with speed and line drives in CoPa as power outages occur with streaks over time.

How about Andy Dirks???

INGE AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB AVG
With the A’s 13 1 3 2 0 0 1 2 .231

Just read that Porcello’s hands above the head windup on Tuesday was new. Watching that game, I thought he hadn’t done that before but assumed I was somehow mis-remembering. Glad to find out it wasn’t senility. This time.
Between Scherzer and Porcello, looks like it’s been an all hands on deck week for Jeff Jones.

Evan, better re-check your stats. Inge 11/AB 0/R 2/H 1/2B 1/RBI .182/BA

spot on sir – i included the 4/24 game stats

Take a Luke at these numbers:
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Infielder Luke Hughes was released this spring by Minnesota, picked up by Oakland, and almost immediately released to make room for Inge. Hughes has 8 career homers and half of them have come against Detroit. He’s gone deep on Verlander, Penny, Pauley, and Scherzer, and hit .323 against us. This doesn’t include yet another homer he hit off us this spring in Lakeland, a 3-run shot.
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What is it with us and guys named Luke?

When will it be possible for us to sign him to a minor league contract??

it is a funny thing how many Luke’s have our number.
I named my boy Luke – am hoping in 16 years he will play FOR the Tigers and reverse the trend!

Hmm. Could one game’s stats improve his average that much?? It must have been a 1 for 3. We will never know but I’m sure that after Sizemore was hurt in spring training and Brandon was slumping that DD was speed dialing Billy Beane trying to get a prospect for him.

he went 1 for 2 with a double and a strikeout. DD must have figured brandon to not have a hit for a week after that :p

Timing is important, Evan . DD maybe wanted Brandon to have a hit, in his last Tiger game.

Did you see that Will Rhymes was called up by the Rays to replace E. Longoria??
He’s been 3 for 8 the first two games. Right on top of the Rays stat sheet for now.
If you take a look at the A’s stats, they have 10 players (three of them now released) hitting below .200. Another released Tiger, Clete Thomas, hit a homer soon after joining the Twins. Unfortunately, he has struck out twelve of his last sixteen at bats.

Yikes!! Mario Rivera might have just been injured shagging fly balls in BP.

update tomorrow on Andy Dirks and hammy injury? Delmon’s return (if he’s talking to reporters) will probably overwhelm any other Tiger news.

King Andy, please give us good news. No wonder they loved him in the Dominican. Hopefully, Delmon will come to us like he did last year. He gave the tigers a huge shot in the arm when he came over.
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Anyone seen the Miggy Poco MLBfancave skit. Hysterical.
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Oh, and Doug Fister sounds like the most grounded person for a pitcher I’ve ever heard. Just keep that muscle attached to those ribs, Doug. Boy, we sure have missed this guy.

Watching Albert Pujols hit in the first inning. He’s at .208 with no homers and 5 RBI. How’d you like to have that? It’s going to be scary when he gets going.
Hits into DP.

I have an idea. Let’s just keep writing the lineups the way Jim writes them and demand they stay the same.

If Dirks is lame with a bad hammy, we are extremely vulnerable in the corner OF spots defensively with DY/RR/DK in Left and Boesch in Right. We need to develop corner OF’s for the future (late 2012/ST 2013). It doesn’t surprise that Benoit and Valverde are very hittable to start the season. You can’t duplicate the “magic” the Bullpen performed in 2011. Just play as Team and relax, good things are the result of talent , hard work and strong efforts!

Jim

how is DK a defensive liability? he’s like super man!

Avisail Garcia is our top corner OF prospect. Playing well in Lakeland. Obviously still a ways a way from Detroit. Maybe ready by 2013, but the Prospect Watch lists his ETA in 2014. He is only 20 years old.

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