With apologies to Judge Smails, the man’s a menace.
Tigers starter Doug Fister, that is.
The big righty starts tonight in Houston for Detroit, where he’ll look to increase his Major League-high total of eight hit batters. Well, not really. Nobody, save for the ghost of Old Hoss Radbourn, wants to attempt to lead the league in hit batsmen and have it italicized on the back of their Topps trading card.
Were Fister leading most any other statistical category by the margin he currently is, his feats would be trumpeted. (Or at least mentioned in passing on “SportsCenter.”) As it stands, Fister’s eight hit batters is double that of the five guys behind him in second, a group that includes A.J. Burnett.
After a month’s worth of starts, Fister (4-0, 2.38) is on pace to hit 56 batsmen, which would shatter the post World War II record of 21 held by Kerry Wood and Tom Murphy.
In Fister’s first start of the season, an inside pitch sailed and plunked Yankees’ shortstop Eduardo Nunez on the arm, sidelining him for a few days. Fister says he’s not pitching inside on purpose to brush guys back. It’s not that old mentality you always hear about from the 1950s and 60s where Hall of Famers like Don Drysdale or Bob Gibson “owned the inside corner.”
Fister stressed it was his mechanics in a talk with the Tigers’ MLB beat guy, Jason Beck.
“Yes, I’m trying to go inside and trying to keep the sinker down and in. But by no means is it ever intentional.”
Those are words that would certainly never come out of Old Hoss’ mouth.
[Via Jason Beck]