It was a welcome relief to see Detroit Tigers starter Doug Fister on the mound and it was an even bigger one to see him dominate the Colorado Rockies in a 4-1 victory.
After Friday’s aboslutely disastrous extra-inning loss, the Tigers rebounded to get back in the win come column and continue to inch closer to the .500 mark. Bigger than the win itself though was the return of Fister, who has been sidelined for the better part of the year with side soreness.
The team’s number two starter had yet to earn a win on the year yet and, despite having several solid outings, did not look like the pitcher the team saw last year. Saturday’s game not only netted Fister his first win, but also saw his dominating pitching return.
Fister started the game perfectly, literally. He sat down the first ten hitters he faced in order until Carlos Gonzalez poked a hot-shot down the third base line. It was a hard hit ball and it was a miracle Miguel Cabrera was able to grab it and prevent Gonzalez from stretching it to a double. Overall, Fister went six innings, limiting the Rockies to three hits, one walk and no runs while fanning six.
Unlike his starts in the past, Fister got the run support he needed with four total runs. Cabrera led the offense with two home runs, one of them of the Little League variety when the Rockies made two throwing errors on a simple play. Jhonny Peralta and Ryan Raburn would also add two RBIs and Austin Jackson had a very impressive four walk performance.
Despite the four runs, it seemed as if the Tigers left runs on the field again. The team was 0-6 with runners in scoring position, worse than Friday, and left ten men on base. This game should not have been close, but the Tigers allowed Colorado to hang around.
Phil Coke and Joaquin Benoit finished the game after Fister exited. Coke pitched two solid innings of relief giving up two hits, but never allowing them to threaten. Benoit on the other hand, lost the shutout for the Tigers when a deep fly ball and throwing error by Don Kelly allowed Carlos Gonzalez to get to third base. A sac-fly by Michael Cuddyer allowed him to score and Benoit would go on to close out the game for the Tigers’ 31st win.
Tigers’ MVP: Fister was down right filthy and kept the Rockies on their toes. It was nice to see him get his first win, but more importantly, was nicer to see him return to his lights out form. Getting him back in the rotation will be a key part of the turn around if the Tigers stay hot.
Tigers’ Goat: There are just so many players for who performed poorly today, but the goat should probably go to Brennan Boesch. The young slugger has been on fire lately, but struggled on Saturday going 0-3 from the plate and left four total guys on base. His struggles Saturday are not a great sign for the number two hitter Detroit is going to be counting on for the foreseeable future.