Fister allowed just two hits and one walk in four shutout innings, striking out five along the way.
A little background ... Fister was making his first start since April 7, when he was sidelined with a left costochondral strain in his first appearance of the season. Before that he suffered problems with his right middle finger during spring training.
The 28-year-old Fister threw 68 of the 75 pitches he was allowed, 44 of which were strikes. Here is the breakdown of pitches by inning:
- First inning: 20 pitches, 13 strikes (65 percent)
- Second inning: 17 pitches, 11 strikes (64.7 percent)
- Third inning: 12 pitches, 8 strikes (66.7 percent)
- Fourth inning: 19 pitches, 12 strikes (63.2 percent)
Notice that the percentage of strikes was consistent throughout. Also, the non-strikes were very close misses.
Here are a few pitch speeds. And before I do this, let me answer the question everyone always asks: No, I am not charting pitches. I try to check out pitches for movement, etc., but I've got a full plate without adding a pitch chart. Sorry.
So here we go: His fastball sat at 87-89 mph (six at 87, eight at 88 and seven at 89) while I believe he was throwing a cutter that sat at 85-86 mph (two at 85, 12 at 86). His slider sat at 83-84 mph (seven at 83, eight at 84) and his change-up sat at 81 mph (one at 80, five at 81, one at 82). He also broke out a curveball that ranged from 74-78 mph (two at 74, one at 75, one at 76, one at 78) and also included two at 71 and one at 69 (all three of those were strikes, and were dandies).
Finally, here are some quotes from Fister from after the contest (with thanks to Dana Wakiji for her help with the quotes) ...
"The goal for tonight was to come in here, do things as normal as possible and just kind of test things out," Fister said. "Just getting ready to go back and make pitches. I went out there and pitched how I normally would pitch. Just reacting to hitters and what's working for me tonight or not. Just kind of how we worked with [catcher Omir] Santos. I got my work in with my fastball, but also got the off-speed work in, too."
ON HIS HEALTH: "I feel good. I can't really ask for anything more right now. I let it fly tonight. We're still going to take it day by day but we're expecting the best as of right now. It's been a while. I've thrown a couple of bullpens before and they were full-tilt. Tonight went out there and pitched like I would normally pitch. Didn't really feel anything so it was good."
ON THE KEY TO HIS SUCCESS: "Being able to keep the ball down was the main key for me. Throwing the sinker and really the changeup. But I was trying to get all the pitches in, get all the work in, really trying to focus on throwing the cutter a little bit more. Being able to get back in the mental game of things, too."
WAS HE WORRIED ABOUT THE VELOCITY NOT TOUCHING 90 MPH? "I never question what my velocity is. I never know what it is. We really don't keep track of that one. For me anyway, it's just kind of a mind game that I don't play. I go out there and rely on location of the baseball and the movement of it and whatever the velocity is, that's what it is. Tonight I felt like I made some quality pitches with the location."
IS HE EXCITED ABOUT REJOINING THE TIGERS? "I can't wait. I'm eager to find out when we're going to get going and what we're going to do. It's just an exciting time for me."
IS HE EXCITED ABOUT GETTING TO PITCH IN SEATTLE? "Obviously. That was the stomping grounds I had for a while and I had a great time there. Met a lot of terrific fans, a lot of relationships I built with training staff and players and teammates. It's something that I really treasure and never am going to let go. Now I'm a Tiger and pitching for this uniform for this team, obviously going back is going to be a little bit of fun and a little extra competition. It doesn't change anything, the way I pitch, but it's always more fun."
IS HE STILL GETTING TREATMENT FOR INJURIES? "We're always doing treatment, whether it's for shoulder or now whether it's for my side. We're trying to do the pre-hab stuff to make sure this doesn't happen again. Just trying to play things smart."
WAS IT GOOD TO ALSO HAVE TO MAKE A COUPLE OF DEFENSIVE PLAYS? "Absolutely. That's always a question, being able to get back, is the reaction still there? It's always a question but it was good to get out and bounce off the mound a little bit and make a couple throws to first base."