Sox claim Doug Fister

tims4wins

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Thanks to the off-days coming up, they can get away without using a fifth starter for a couple weeks. So if last night's Fister was a mirage and he turns back into his pumpkin in his next start (Saturday), they can skip that spot the next couple times through if they want. Next time they'd need a #5 would be Tuesday the 22nd. That gives Price nearly a full month to recover and rehab and take the spot back.
But they will probably keep giving Sale an extra day
 

InsideTheParker

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Fister seems to be saying that coaching made a real difference, and I'd like to believe him. It's striking how many of you think last night will prove a one off. The way his pitches were moving last night was amazing.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Fister seems to be saying that coaching made a real difference, and I'd like to believe him. It's striking how many of you think last night will prove a one off. The way his pitches were moving last night was amazing.
He also gave up several really hard hit balls that found gloves. It wasn't all great. He looked much better, but I thought he pitched worse than his line.

You still gotta give him another start. And props to him for putting in work and making changes.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Fister seems to be saying that coaching made a real difference, and I'd like to believe him. It's striking how many of you think last night will prove a one off. The way his pitches were moving last night was amazing.
Well, let's see:

Before last night, in 2017, he had allowed a cumulative .907 OPS and 49 batters to reach in a mere 25 1/3 innings pitched, good for a -0.7 WAR.

Going back further, over his final 7 appearances in 2016, he had allowed a cumulative 1.101 OPS and SIXTY-FIVE hitters to reach base in a mere 27 1/3 innings pitched.

Meaning, over his last 14 appearances before last night, he had allowed 114 hitters to reach base over a mere 52 2/3 innings pitched.

So, what is more predictive? His one (excellent, by all accounts) start last night, totaling 7 2/3 innings? Or his previous 14 appearances, totaling 8x as many innings, with results that were, uh, slightly worse than "excellent?"

There's every reason to think last night was a one off. No reason we can't enjoy what he did, but counting on it going forward seems rather like thinking red is "bound" to come up on a roulette wheel. He can say coaching played a part and all that, but it's highly unlikely a 33 year old veteran pitcher suddenly figured something out. It's far more likely that we're seeing the proverbial dead cat bounce.
 

streeter88

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I just watched that game, and even in the eighth inning he generated some amazing movement and swing and misses, before the HR ended his night. That said, he did have a lot more solid contact and fly balls from the sixth inning on, so would be interesting to see what the movement charts and catchers view location charts would show. Hoping somebody (maybe iayork?) does an article in the .com about it.

Edit: SouthernBoSox said it better, but I still hope iayork has a look.
 

Zososoxfan

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Of course there'd be no way to know unless he pitches.... also, I imagine that this time of year Farrell will be looking to give him starters any extra rest possible.
I still think Valazquez makes more sense and I think Fister is a pumpkin but that was great last night
My sarcasm meter may be off, but why would Farrell be looking to give his starters extra rest at this time of year? The Sox have played 3 more games than their main competition in NYY, CLE, and KCR. We're not quite at the sprint, which to me is when the calendar flips to September (or even the last 2-3 weeks of September), but we're very much in the thick of the race at this point. Pretenders and contenders get separated this month and then the contenders duke it out in September.
 

Plympton91

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The real question is whether this represents a real change going forward or is merely a fluke, one which will buy him 4 or 5 more starts of 7.00 ERA pitching. It was great to get an unexpected gem last night but let's hope it's not costly in the long run.
I'm going with door number 2.

Remember Brian Johnson's complete game shutout? Put this one in that category.

What do the analytics say? Less hard contact? Different release point that generated more downward plane? Or just same Doug Foster with balls hit at people for a change?
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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What do the analytics say? Less hard contact? Different release point that generated more downward plane? Or just same Doug Foster with balls hit at people for a change?
The Indians had a .240 BABIP last night, so Fister probably had a bit of ball in play luck and/or some good defense helping him out. One of the double plays started by Devers was was only a double play because Encarnacion was doing his best late 2016 David Ortiz impersonation down the line.
 

joe dokes

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The Indians had a .240 BABIP last night, so Fister probably had a bit of ball in play luck and/or some good defense helping him out. One of the double plays started by Devers was was only a double play because Encarnacion was doing his best late 2016 David Ortiz impersonation down the line.
Not to be overlooked was that Nunez looked like Max Patkin turning that DP.
 

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My sarcasm meter may be off, but why would Farrell be looking to give his starters extra rest at this time of year? The Sox have played 3 more games than their main competition in NYY, CLE, and KCR. We're not quite at the sprint, which to me is when the calendar flips to September (or even the last 2-3 weeks of September), but we're very much in the thick of the race at this point. Pretenders and contenders get separated this month and then the contenders duke it out in September.
If you can use the off days to give starters extra rest during the dog days to keep them fresher for the stretch run, you at least consider doing it.
 

Zososoxfan

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If you can use the off days to give starters extra rest during the dog days to keep them fresher for the stretch run, you at least consider doing it.
I'd rather start Sale and Pom on regular rest and see less of rolls of the dice with Dougie. Not saying to pitch them on short rest, but rather I'd use the days off to keep a normal rotation. If things are looking good in late September, then you can cool the jets. But as of today, making the playoffs and winning the division look like a dogfight.
 

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I'd rather start Sale and Pom on regular rest and see less of rolls of the dice with Dougie. Not saying to pitch them on short rest, but rather I'd use the days off to keep a normal rotation. If things are looking good in late September, then you can cool the jets. But as of today, making the playoffs and winning the division look like a dogfight.
Sure, but it's a long season and pitchers get worn down. Sale's history shows he's worn down later in the season. If you can skip a couple of starts and keep your guys fresher, and, therefore, more effective, you might increase your chances of making the playoffs/winning the division. This becomes a lot easier if Price comes back, and fairly soon.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Give Fister another start against the worst team in the AL, then skip him for Yankee series and maybe give him one of the Cardinal games inbetween
 

Harry Hooper

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McAdam at BSJ today offered a small detail on Fister:

“It sounds like maybe a small thing,’’ said pitching coach Carl Willis, “but we changed where he was on the rubber and looked at some video from earlier in his career (and worked) on his direction to home plate, a tad more across his body to kind of work against that front leg and create that sink. And it really showed itself.
...
Fister and Willis have a shared history, having worked together in Seattle from 2009-2011 and that institutional knowledge helps Willis ready checkpoints for when he sees Fister needing some mechanical adjustments.
 

Remagellan

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Fister seems to be saying that coaching made a real difference, and I'd like to believe him. It's striking how many of you think last night will prove a one off. The way his pitches were moving last night was amazing.
The best argument for this possibly being the case is the team evaluators watched his performances over the past few years and still brought him in. Why would they have done that if they didn't think that there might be something that they would be able to fix with coaching? Did you think they were saying to themselves when he was released, "we've got to snag this guy, because where else are we going to find a guy who is capable of posting a 4.75 FIP?"

They had to believe there was some work they could do with him to turn him back into the serviceable starter he was in Detroit and Washington or else they wouldn't have wasted the roster spot on him.

Until further evidence proves otherwise, I choose to believe, because we need to grasp on to all the hope that presents itself after yesterday's trading deadline news.
 

uk_sox_fan

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There's every reason to think last night was a one off. No reason we can't enjoy what he did, but counting on it going forward seems rather like thinking red is "bound" to come up on a roulette wheel. He can say coaching played a part and all that, but it's highly unlikely a 33 year old veteran pitcher suddenly figured something out. It's far more likely that we're seeing the proverbial dead cat bounce.
Or how about the guy has finally started to shake off the rust of a season of being used sporatically at best. He missed all of April and May until he took a minor league assignment with the Angels. After 3 starts he came to Boston where he made spot starts and long relief. His last start before last night he had some bad luck with Holt losing a popup in the sun leading to 4 of the 6 runs he allowed (and extending a long inning that limited his outting). Then, following a 1-2-3 8th inning mopup job the next week he was asked to pitch 2 2/3 in extras the next day. After retiring 7 of the 1st 8 batters he faced he ran out of steam and was done in by a blockable WP and a bloop single after a pair of walks and a single. There was one hard hit ball in the inning.

The last time he truly melted down was the 16th inning of the Yankee marathon game allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and an IBB. But remember that was after he came on in the 14th with two on and 1 out and closed out the inning and then went 1-2-BB-to-Judge-3 in the 15th.

Hell, his first two starts weren't bad either - each with one bad inning early, but him settling down and keeping them in it with the Sox bats unable to catch them up. Only his 3rd start against Texas was a complete fiasco.

The point isn't that he's the equal of any of our starting 5, but that he's a capable fill-in when we need a spot starter or long relief. Like pinch hitting it's a difficult role to fill and very easy to criticize when things don't go well, but the hyperbole and vitriol you and others here spew at him are over the top and frankly, annoying as hell.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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First, if you're annoyed by this discussion don't participate in it. No one on either side has said anything truly unreasonable.

Now, on to your points: the "rust" he was shaking off was on the heels of a terrible ending to his 2016 season. The performances were remarkably consistent over his last 7 starts there and his first seven starts this season. Given those performances there was no rust to shake off, he was pitching the same as he was last year. His K/BB rate was atrocious and his contact was all very, very hard. People were claiming he was tired in extras when he was only in his 3rd inning of work, which is nothing for a starter (and last night he had no trouble pitching into the 8th).

Look, everyone wants the guy to pitch well, but IMO people here are overreacting to the fact that he finally had an acceptable performance after stinking up the joint from his first day here. It's OK to hope his improvement is real, but we're not in the process of wishcasting here. Last night's game represents a huge anomaly for Fister given how awful he's been; it's more likely than not that he's not going to be that good going forward. He allowed only 5 hits last night but 8 line drives; most of the time those are going to fall in for hits and his results won't be good. Others have already noted that he was the beneficiary of very good defensive plays made on hard hit balls.

I hope he stays better, but he probably shouldn't be buying any green bananas.
 
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Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I'll add something to this:

I could easily be convinced that Fister's improvement is real if his K/BB ratio improves going forward and if he can lower the amount of hard contact he allows. 5/2 K/BB last night which is an improvement from earlier this year. Those are the things I like to look at when seeing if an uptick is real or just noise.
 

phenweigh

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I'll add something to this:

I could easily be convinced that Fister's improvement is real if his K/BB ratio improves going forward and if he can lower the amount of hard contact he allows. 5/2 K/BB last night which is an improvement from earlier this year. Those are the things I like to look at when seeing if an uptick is real or just noise.
Sure, but the Sox probably need to decide what to do with Fister before he has the opportunity to establish that the uptick is real. I still have more confidence in Velazquez as the sixth starter, but I'll concede his performance last night earned him another start.
 

uk_sox_fan

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First, if you're annoyed by this discussion don't participate in it. No one on either side has said anything truly unreasonable.
Actually my point is that your criticism has been unreasonable. Multiple posters pointed out that the loss he took in the M's game last Tuesday came after 2 decent innings at which he became gassed in 13th. You've countered that he's a starter and shouldn't get tired in his 3rd inning of work, ignoring the fact that he was pitching his 2nd day in a row. We debate endlessly whether Kimbrel should go more than 3 outs or pitch back-to-back too often and yet your standards for a 6th starter/long reliever is that he should be able to put up 0's one night and then, what?, pitch 3 innings of scoreless ball the next at a moment's notice? Here were your "reasonable" assessments of his performance:

I haven't seen a "name" Red Sox pitcher this bad since the rotting corpse of Aaron Cook showed up in 2012.

Why is this guy still here? He's terrible in every way. If they're going to keep losing games like this, at least have Henry Owens or someone take his roster spot so that the kid can get experience. Fister adds nothing. He cost nothing to acquire. Shitcanning him should be the easiest thing in the world to do.
He was not fine. Given a lead this is what he promptly did.

K BB 4-3 1B WP BB 1B

That's absolutely terrible. He's usually a starter; there's absolutely no excuse for "running out of gas." He just sucks. He had a chance to nail down a badly-needed win and completely melted down. He's a bad pitcher and he's pitching badly and he's killed the team and it's time for him to go pitch in Sacramento or Richmond or some other minor league town more suited to his modest and declining talents.

Yankees are 1 GB now, thanks to Fister's meltdown. The Sox are in a crisis situation (6-12 in their last 18) and cannot afford wastes of oxygen like this on the roster. Get him gone.
So bottom line is I think it is unreasonable to rant like that and expect perfection out of a 6th starter. He was asked to do something that very few pitchers are equipped to do and guess what, he ran out of gas. I'm not wish-casting on last night's performance as you've said, I'm just pointing out that your hyperbole isn't becoming and doesn't help a reasoned discussion. And please don't ask me to go elsewhere - I'm not saying that to you - I'm saying to take a breath before calling someone worthless and look at the complete package of what they're producing. It never was as bad as you say and if it were, last night's performance wouldn't have been possible.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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No one's asking for perfection. We were asking for a guy to put up something better than a 7.46 ERA, which was his mark before Monday's game. Big difference. He had given us a -0.7 WAR before Monday night, which in 7 appearances is pretty horrific.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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In yet another example that God has a wicked sense of humor, tomorrow I am taking my daughter to Fenway for the first time in her 7 years on this planet.

And Fister's starting.

Let the wishcasting commence in earnest!!
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Another quality start for Fister since the mechanical change. Not that two good starts in a row is a trend or anything, but I think it buys him another start or two.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Maybe I'm a just too protective a dad, but buying your little girl a sports jersey that says "YOUNG" on the back seems like the kind of action that might cause her to meet the wrong sorts of persons.



Then again, maybe it's not the worst choice among the current team.
Any dad (or fan in general) worth his salt is going to buy an authentic home jersey without a name at all.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Maybe she asked for a Doug Fister jersey?
"Daddy Daddy can I have the jersey of our only starting pitcher who has registered a post-season Win?"


Edit: Nevermind I forgot Price actually has 2 wins to go along with his 8 losses.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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You're all just the best.

I just got home. Yeah, we had a great time. The top of the 2nd wasn't too awesome, but the rest of it was great. I thought that Farrell was pushing his luck a bit sending Fister out for the top of the 7th after the Sox had gone up 6-3, and he did give up a rope that JBJ kept to a single, but overall you can't argue with his performance today. He got out of a couple of jams and got a well-deserved ovation when he was taken out.

No, I didn't get her a YOUNG FISTER shirt, you pervos.
 

streeter88

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3 really good starts in his last 4. I wonder what they are going to do when everyone's healthy.
Not sure that will happen this year, Price not rushing back.

Tonight's 86 game score was 2nd best in his career, behind a 9 inning 3 hit shutout last game of 2014 for the Nats that earned him a 90.

Edit: game score was an 85, but still 2nd highest of his career.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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I got a push notification from the At Bat app that said he was the first pitcher to throw a CG one-hitter after giving up a leadoff homerun since... somebody. I dismissed it, but it seemed impressive. Fister has frustrated the Tribe for a long time, so it seems last Monday was the aberration. A career sub-4 ERA against is not a bad thing to have in a potential playoff matchup, even if out of the bullpen. His success against Cleveland might be the exact reason DD picked him up. He could potentially save the bullpen in a game and maybe keep the team in it to try and work a comeback effort, maybe even get a Game 4 start depending how Price's rehab goes and/or Pomeranz's back spasms return or worsen, knock on wood. Signing him for the chump change they did could prove to be an assassin-like move by Dombrowski, if just in one series.
 

edoug

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I got a push notification from the At Bat app that said he was the first pitcher to throw a CG one-hitter after giving up a leadoff homerun since... somebody. I dismissed it, but it seemed impressive. Fister has frustrated the Tribe for a long time, so it seems last Monday was the aberration. A career sub-4 ERA against is not a bad thing to have in a potential playoff matchup, even if out of the bullpen. His success against Cleveland might be the exact reason DD picked him up. He could potentially save the bullpen in a game and maybe keep the team in it to try and work a comeback effort, maybe even get a Game 4 start depending how Price's rehab goes and/or Pomeranz's back spasms return or worsen, knock on wood. Signing him for the chump change they did could prove to be an assassin-like move by Dombrowski, if just in one series.
Jack McDowell?
He did it in '91 vs the Brewers.
 

uk_sox_fan

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To follow up on SJH's point, it's one freaking start. Most likely a mere blip on an otherwise downward trajectory. The wishcasting here is staggering.
When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you.

If your heart is in your dreams
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do.

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

When a star is born
They possess a gift or two.
One of them is this.
They have the power to make a wish come true.

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you,

If your heart is in your dreams
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do.

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing.

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I told a friend that while I suspected it was a blip, I would have to be personally grateful to Fister for pitching well for my daughter's first game a couple weeks ago. Now I might have to actually like the guy as a player.

A 1-hitter?
 

Curt S Loew

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I told a friend that while I suspected it was a blip, I would have to be personally grateful to Fister for pitching well for my daughter's first game a couple weeks ago. Now I might have to actually like the guy as a player.

A 1-hitter?
27 straight outs without a hit. Not your "run of the mill" 1-hitter.
 

TomTerrific

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27 straight outs without a hit. Not your "run of the mill" 1-hitter.
Well, with a couple of BBs and at least one HBP (going on memory here) thrown in. Those DPs sure were helpful.

The Cleveland guys I was in the box with seemed resigned to the idea that Fister just owns them
 

Otis Foster

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When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you.

If your heart is in your dreams
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do.

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

When a star is born
They possess a gift or two.
One of them is this.
They have the power to make a wish come true.

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you,

If your heart is in your dreams
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do.

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing.

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true.
Uh-oh, time to adjust your dosage.