Doug Fister was born on February 4th, 1984 to a fairly average family. He attended Golden Valley High School and Fresno State University, where he was good, but not great, winning WAC Pitcher of the Week on one occasion, while others won it numerous times. Fister was later selected in the 7th round of the 2006 MLB draft by the Seattle Mariners, where he was considered better than most of the other draftees, but not in the top sector of talent. Doug Fister wasn’t a can’t-miss prospect. He trudged his way through the minors, posting decent strikeout/walk numbers with a decent arsenal of pitches. He made the major league ballclub in 2009, finishing the season with 15 walks, 36 strikeouts, and 63 hits allowed over 61 innings.
Doug Fister was pretty average up until April 19th, 2010. And on that day, Fister was average in style. Taking advantage of the phenomenal defense behind him, Doug Fister stopped focusing on missing bats and started focusing on inducing contact like never before. For 6+ innings, Doug Fister no-hit the Baltimore Orioles, throwing his 88-90 mile-an-hour fastball without much movement to speak of, 79-80 mile-an-hour change-up, and 72-74 mile-an-hour curveball (but mostly the former) probably about as well as he usually throws them. For 2 hours on a crisp April night, Doug Fister was more than just an easily replaceable 4th starter. Fister was, thanks to his defense, great; the kid was even mentioned on the front page of ESPN.
Through seven innings, Doug Fister dazzled us by not being especially dazzling. And even for someone who recognizes the monumental impact of good defense on Fister’s night, it was a fun ride.
- Thank you, Ty Wiggington. Were it not for your defensive gaffe, denying your team of an inning-ending double play, the Mariners would have only led 1-0 after the third inning. However, you let a groundball bounce harmlessly off your glove, allowing a run to score, and for the Mariners to subsequently score 5 more, on a Griffey single, Bradley double, and Kotchman moonshot.
- It was nice to see Jack Wilson hit two doubles and a single. And to see Gutierrez’s batting average rise to .426. And, of course, to see Ichiro continue to silence his critics on the topic of his supposed April slumps. The M’s have some offense in them this year, and we’re starting to see it. Then again, the Orioles are terrible, and until the M’s put up some offensive numbers against a good pitcher we can all remain healthily skeptical.
- I wasn’t particularly happy to see Brandon League being wasted with a 8-1 lead. Wak’s bullpen usage continues to be shaky. Same deal for Shawn Kelley. Don, you’re supposed to use your worse pitchers when you’re up by 7 runs, not your better ones.
- Rob Johnson was the only Mariners hitter who did not reach base tonight. Figures.
- I’m starting to like Eric Byrnes. He really plays his damn heart out, but, unlike Willie Bloomquist, Byrnes is endearing.