Doug Fister made his return to the Tigers rotation yesterday and you have to be happy with the results. He was able to keep his pitch count down and threw seven shutout innings while needing just 73 pitches. He didn’t walk anyone and he struck out three. Keep in mind this was against a weak Mariners offense but it was a nice season re-debut. As usual, we saw a lot of two seamers and Fister was consistently in the high-80s and low-90s. He’ll pitch again on Sunday against the Athletics so we’ll see if he can keep this up.
Then we get to the pen. Phil Coke (nice start to the season) threw a shutout frame and then Octavio Dotel came in to pitch the ninth. He walked the first two guys after giving up just two weeks all season before that. A wild pitch and a passed ball gave the Mariners one run then a double tied the game up. Dotel was pulled and while Duane Below kept his ERA at 0.00, the winning run scored on him when John Jaso hit a sac. fly.
While the whole win/loss record is a bad indicator of just about anything, it’s kind of telling that the starters are 7-9 and the pen is 7-5. Twelve no-decisions by the starters seems like a lot and to put it into perspective, there were 43 no decisions by starters last year. This year, we’re on pace to top that by the end of July. It means one of two things. The Tigers are playing a lot of close games and that the pen is struggling. This year, the pen has a 4.25 ERA and it’s actually higher then the rotation’s 3.81.
The Indians swept their doubleheader so the Tigers sit three games back of first. I’m still not worried, but that doesn’t mean this team doesn’t frustrate the heck out of me. Tonight Justin Verlander is on the mound though so hopefully he can put a stop to this.