After my Kluber prediction yesterday, and a very “unKluber”-like performance, you all probably think I’m a fluke. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not; that is still up for debate. However, while betting on Kluber may have hurt you, the bombers still lost and that is a win.
As for today, I’m going to make a bold statement: Doug Fister is the answer. The 33-year-old Journeyman; who has an overall 83-85 win – loss record over his career is the man for the job, at least for Sunday.
To everybody who thinks throwing him out there is laying down in the series, here’s something you might not know. Since the Championship Series format began in 1969, the lowest postseason ERA as a starter belongs to who else, Doug Fister (1.78) (minimum 50.0 innings pitched) I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that Fister, an Astro himself last year, has also owned his former team. Take a look at some of these splits (Elias Sports bureau via MLB.com)
The young rookie Bregman is the only ‘Stro with any success against Fister at all. (Imagine That)
We will also be back at Fenway tomorrow where Doug loves to pitch, and where he shut the Astros down already when nobody gave him a shot. Of course the 6’8 lanky Right-Hander doesn’t pitch to his build – Fister throws four pitches, and is mainly a groundball pitcher. His two seam fastball is thrown at a measly (88–91) mph. He messes with a nice cutter (85–87), his devastating curve (73–79), and a three finger changeup (80–84). The curveball is his best swing-and-miss pitch, with a career whiff rate of over 30%. What I like most about Fister is his soft contact/hard contact ratio on balls put in play, which is in the top 5 in Major League baseball. That is exactly what you need against a devastating lineup from top to bottom, like Houston has.
Of course it can’t all fall on Fister. He could throw up a zero tomorrow and we still may lose in extras if we can’t get the bats going. While we’ve had a few bad breaks thus far, or hell, just pitiful hitting and pitching – today is a new day to go out and bust it open early and let Fister cruise.
By the way, Fister went out and ran 10 miles yesterday, as he does on every off-day. He’s relaxed and we should be too. We’re NOT done, and I can’t wait to watch how it plays out. As the great Kevin Millar once said “Don’t let us win today, you think were down and out, then BAM, SOX NATION all over you”
Don’t look at this photo if you’re counting us out because were not done.
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