Results tagged ‘ Doug Fister ’
by Mike Feigen
When the Nationals take the field for Game 1 of the National League Division Series this Friday, whichever pitcher Matt Williams entrusts with the starting assignment will give the team a tremendous chance to win.
That’s what the eye test tells us.
Fans of the Nationals saw Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister, Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez win game after game — or at least help the club earn win after win — throughout the regular season. Those core members of the starting five owned a collective record of 69-42 (.622) and the Nationals went 94-55 (.631) when one of them received the ball.
However, wins and losses really don’t tell a precise story of how well a pitcher performed. Too many external factors come into play in each win and loss, such as run support, batted ball luck and bullpen performance.
Instead, we look at the types of things a pitcher can control, such as walks and strikeouts. In the case of the 2014 Nationals, no pitching staff did it better — in the history of baseball.
This season, Washington pitchers struck out 1,288 opposing batters and walked 352. That’s a ratio of 3.66-to-1, a better rate than any of the other 2,391 teams to play a full season of baseball since 1901.
In fact, only 60 other teams in history had even managed a 2.66-to-1 ratio, underscoring just how well the Nationals struck batters out and limited free passes.
But the 3.66-to-1 figure only scratches the surface.
When considering only starting pitchers, the Nationals’ figure leaps to an astounding 4.05-to-1. And when excluding the 13 spot starts posted throughout the year by Blake Treinen, Taylor Jordan and Taylor Hill — leaving just the core five of Zimmermann, Strasburg, Fister, Roark and Gonzalez — the limits of the statistical stratosphere are tested.
The final ratio? An incredible 4.30-to-1.
So, when the going gets tough and runners are on base in the postseason, Williams, pitching coach Steve McCatty and the rest of the Nationals have the numbers on their side to back up what we’ve seen in the regular season. Notching a timely strikeout instead of issuing an inopportune walk can make or break a team in October — and one team is better equipped to do it than any other.
During the marathon of a 162-game baseball season, there are thrilling moments that highlight the successes of every club, from the front runner to the cellar dweller. The 2014 Washington Nationals are no exception, as they have sparked excitement throughout The District while returning to postseason play for the second time in three years.
Inside the Nationals’ clubhouse, multiple members of the team cited June 21 as one of the days the Nationals likely began to turn the tide in the National League East race.
At 37-35, in second place in the division — and with losses in six out of their seven games against the Atlanta Braves — the Nats turned to the newest member of their rotation: Doug Fister. In front of more than 40,000 fans and a FOX national TV audience, the 6-foot-8 righty shut down Atlanta, sparking Washington to a record of 56-30 from that point on. The commanding win easily earned Fister one of our nine “Signature Moments” of the 2014 campaign.
COMMAND PERFORMANCE | 6.21
With the Nationals in need of a commanding performance, Doug Fister stymied the Atlanta Braves in a dominant shutout win on national television.
Game #40: Washington Nationals (20-19) at Arizona Diamondbacks (16-26) | 12:40 p.m. PT; 3:40 p.m. ET | Chase Field
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Doug Fister (0-1, 10.38 ERA) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (1-6, 5.66 ERA)
This will be just the third career start for Washington Nationals right-hander Doug Fister against a National League West team. Fister has never faced the Diamondbacks.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN
Live Stats: nationals.com
The Nationals pace Major League Baseball with 14 bunt hits. Danny Espinosa, who has six, is tied with Los Angeles Dodgers speedster Dee Gordon for the most bunt hits in all of MLB.
Here are today’s game notes, courtesy of the Washington Nationals PR department. Enjoy!
Game #35: Washington Nationals (19-15) at Oakland Athletics (20-15) | 7:05 p.m. PT; 10:05 p.m. ET | O.co Coliseum
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Doug Fister (0-0, — ERA) vs. LHP Tommy Milone (0-3, 5.86 ERA)
Washington Nationals righty Doug Fister is making his first start as a National this season, now healed up from a right lat strain. Fister was acquired in December from the Detroit Tigers. Oakland Athletics lefty Tommy Milone came through the Nationals’ system and made his Major League debut for Washington Sept. 2011 before being sent to Oakland as part of the trade that brought Gio Gonzalez to D.C.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN2
Live Stats: nationals.com
This is the Washington Nationals’ first visit to the O.co Coliseum since the team moved to D.C. in 2005 — and it culminates the team’s initial tour of all Major League cities. The Nationals have now played in 33 different ballparks.
The A’s and the Nationals, of course, share very little history as they play one another so infrequently. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t connected.
Nationals President of Baseball Operations and GM Mike Rizzo and Athletics Vice President and GM Billy Beane have consummated seven trades since Dec., 2010 (a 41-month span). Those trades have included, among others, Fernando Abad, Jerry Blevins, A.J. Cole (twice), Gio Gonzalez, Henry Rodriguez, Tommy Milone, Derek Norris, Brad Peacock, Kurt Suzuki (twice), Blake Treinen and Josh Willingham. Scott Hairston also played for Oakland previously, and pitching coach Steve McCatty spent nine seasons pitching for the A’s as well.
Here are tonight’s game notes, courtesy of the Washington Nationals PR department. Enjoy!
by Amanda Comak
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Washington Nationals’ projected starting rotation will become a reality on Friday night.
The Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated right-hander Doug Fister from the 15-day Disabled List on Friday and the 6-foot-8 right-hander will make his Nationals debut against the Oakland Athletics Friday night at the O.co Coliseum.
In 12 career regular season starts against the Athletics, Fister is 5-5 with a 3.17 ERA.
Fister, 30, joins the Nationals rotation after missing the season’s first 34 games with a right lat strain, though he’s spent his rehab time ingratiating himself among his new teammates and acclimating himself in D.C.
The team’s biggest addition of the offseason was acquired in a December 2013 trade with the Detroit Tigers in which the Nationals sent infielder Steve Lombardozzi, left-handed reliever Ian Krol and left-handed starter Robbie Ray to the Tigers. In two-plus seasons (Aug. 2011-2013) with Detroit, Fister went 32-20 with a 3.29 ERA.
Fister appeared in two Minor League rehab games with Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. In a combined 7.2 innings of work, he allowed two earned runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts and three walks.
The playoff-tested right-hander is the latest of the Nationals’ players who suffered injuries early this season to return.
The team got outfielder Scott Hairston (oblique) and catcher Wilson Ramos (hamate fracture) back on the previous homestand, and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is continuing his rehab and healing process as he recovers from a broken thumb.
But Fister’s return has been as highly anticipated as any.
“We’ve been waiting on that all year,” first baseman Adam LaRoche told reporters on Wednesday. “I know he’s champing to get back in there, so that’ll be another big boost.”
by Amanda Comak
ATLANTA — Washington Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo met with the media before this afternoon’s game at Turner Field to discuss a litany of topics that have arisen in the season’s first two weeks.
Here’s some of what Rizzo discussed, from injuries to roster moves and the growing rivalry with the Atlanta Braves.
“We feel as good as we can with the glut of injuries that we’ve had to key players. We’re talking about your middle-of-the-lineup bats. But we prepared for it this offseason with the acquisitions of (catcher Jose Lobaton) and key guys like (Kevin Frandsen) and (Nate McLouth). We still feel good about the roster.”
On if he feels the Nationals are just not catching any breaks early, with regard to injuries:
“No, nobody cares. The rest of the league doesn’t care. We’re just trying to work our way through it. We’ve got a game every day. That’s the one thing about baseball. The everydayness of it is really what separates the sport. That’s why we have 40-man rosters, that’s why we have Minor League systems.
“Injuries happen and you have to prepare for them. We think we’re well-prepared and well-positioned to handle them. We’ve got games to play and games to win.”
On how Denard Span is doing after being placed on the 7-day DL Saturday with a concussion:
“We’re going to have the doctor re-examine him tomorrow in Miami. He’s going to do some physical activities, and then we’ll take it from there.”
On Ryan Zimmerman’s prognosis after fracturing his right thumb on Saturday night:
“It’s a clean fracture. I saw the X-rays and I talked to the doctor. He’s going to see a hand specialist (at the Cleveland Clinic) on Monday. We’ll get a diagnosis and make our plans from there.”
“He’s capable of playing (second base, third base and shortstop). His natural position is shortstop. He’s got the skillset to play shortstop. He’s going to play all the different positions, and being a switch hitter off the bench with power helps us.”
On Doug Fister’s rehab from a strained lat muscle:
“Doug’s involved in his (throwing) program. He’ll progress to another bullpen (on Monday), throwing all this pitches, and he’ll take the next step depending on how it goes.”
On his opinions of the job manager Matt Williams has done in the season’s first 11 games:
“It’s the same game he’s always watched. Putting the lineups together, running the game in his mind (it’s not unfamiliar to him). Besides the newness of instant replay, it’s baseball as usual.
“He’s got a great support system around him with the coaches. It’s baseball 24/7 with Matt and the rest of them. They’re constantly in the clubhouse talking baseball. It’s a great dynamic and it’s enjoyable to see.”
On his evaluations of Danny Espinosa thus far this season as he bounces back from 2013:
“We’re glad we drafted him and developed him. We’ve always valued him as a really good Major League player. It’s time for him and for other players on the team to show (what they can do).”
On how he views the Nationals’ games against the Braves:
“(I’ve seen) great games. They’ve come on the winning side of it more often than we like, but we feel confident against this team. We feel we’re better than this team. We respect them, we respect the organization, but we don’t fear them . We think we’re the better team and we think at the end of the day we’re going to come out on top.”
by Amanda Comak
NEW YORK — The wait is almost over. In less than 24 hours, Opening Day of the 2014 baseball season will be upon us.
Who could forget Ryan Zimmerman christening Nationals Park with a walk-off on Opening Day in 2008? Or Bryce Harper smashing two home runs on his first Opening Day in the Major Leagues — becoming the youngest player ever to do so — just last year.
But each player has their own memories of Opening Day, and it’s a special day in the baseball world. Some stand out for obvious reasons. Craig Stammen said the most memorable Opening Day for him was his first, and it also happened to be one President Barack Obama attended at Nationals Park. He shook the President’s hand. That in itself was pretty memorable.
Here are a few others, in their own words:
Adam LaRoche: “It was in Chicago (in 2012). I had like four punch-outs with the bases loaded. Luckily we won or it wouldn’t be real funny. I’ve got to be the first guy to leave like 20 guys on base through one game. I remember thinking after that game ‘Whoa, this might be a rough year.'”
To be fair to LaRoche, he was only 0-for-3 in that game, and he walked to load the bases in the eighth inning which led to the Nationals’ first run. He also went 5-for-9 with two home runs in the final two games of that opening series against the Cubs, and went on to have one of his finest seasons in the Major Leagues.
Gio Gonzalez: “(My most memorable Opening Day) was at home against Cincinnati (in the 2012 home opener). That was when I got my first Major League hit and when I was warming up, to stretch and go out there, I thought I had plenty of time to just stretch, hear my music, get ready to go. I ended up telling (pitching coach Steve McCatty), ‘I got this. I’m ready to go.’ He said, ‘You know, you’ve got to stretch a little early because of (all the ceremonial events that go on before the game on Opening Day).’
“Next thing you know it was like 12:55 p.m. and the game was at 1 p.m. and I turned to Cat and I was like, ‘Cat, I don’t think I got this.’ I ended up not even long-tossing or throwing just went straight from stretching to the bullpen… Show and go. Sometimes it works.”
Gonzalez threw seven shutout innings that day, allowing just two hits and striking out seven.
Doug Fister: “I got called up in 2009. My first Opening Day was in 2010 in Seattle. There were a couple of us who were fairly new and our biggest thing was trying not to trip on the red carpet. They had carpet that ran from center field all the way to the line (that we had to run down during introductions).”
Matt LeCroy (bullpen coach): “My first one (in the Major Leagues). That was my debut. My first at-bat I hit a double and got a standing ovation. We were in Minnesota at the Metrodome. I made the team out of spring. I was 23 or 24 years old. It was awesome. My whole family was there. I’d just gotten married. I don’t remember (the other at-bats). But that first one was pretty cool.”
by Amanda Comak
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The disclaimer that comes with Spring Training, and all of the stats that accompany it, is, of course, that they don’t count for anything. On Monday, whatever numbers have been accrued over the past five weeks in Florida are wiped away and the real fun begins.
Zimmermann did that. He also threw 18 innings, allowed one run, struck out 15, allowed 11 hits and walked only one. His Spring Training ERA came complete at 0.50.
Five more scoreless innings against the New York Mets to cap his spring — along with a bases-loaded infield hit to score the Nationals’ first run in a 4-0 victory — was more than enough for him to earn Player of the Day honors as the Nationals bid adieu to the Grapefruit League.
“I felt like I did what I needed to do to get ready for the season,” the 2013 All-Star said. “The ball’s coming out well, I have a good feel for all my pitches and I’m healthy. (Spring Training stats) don’t matter, but for me I want to do (well) every time I go out. Spring doesn’t matter too much but you don’t want to get hit around every time, either… I feel good. I’m ready to go.”
Quote of the Day: Matt Williams on Doug Fister
Fister was pulled from his scheduled Minor League start after one inning when he continued to feel tightness in his right lat muscle. The right-hander will be reevaluated in D.C.
“(It didn’t happen) on any particular pitch, had nothing to do with the elbow,” Williams said. “But we took him out after his first inning as a precaution and he’ll see the doc tomorrow in Washington. We’ll see what the doc says. We’ll see where we’re at. He was due to throw 60 (pitches) today and he came out after that first inning, so it certainly is a setback (as far as the regular season goes).”
Jordan Zimmermann goes five scoreless in another strong outing.
Jordan Zimmermann helps his own cause with a bases-loaded infield hit.
Bryce Harper ropes an RBI-single to center field.
Nate McLouth scores on a wild pitch.
The Nationals will travel to Washington, D.C. on Thursday evening in advance of Saturday’s exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers at Nationals Park… The team will participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Youth Baseball Academy before Saturday’s game… Nationals Manager Matt Williams said he is leaning toward starting Anthony Rendon at second base on Opening Day.
The following is an excerpt from the Spring Training issue of Nationals Magazine. To read the full story, visit nationals.com/publications to find out how you can subscribe. The Spring Training magazine is on sale now, can be purchased at the Main Clubhouse Team Store at Nationals Park and is also available inside Space Coast Stadium on gamedays.
by Mike Feigen
Standing tall at 6-foot-8, Doug Fister should be hard to overlook. Instead, the Californian with the worm-killing sinker has twice been traded, including an offseason deal that earned the Nationals plaudits in baseball circles. No stranger to sharing the spotlight — he’s pitched alongside four Cy Young Award winners — Fister is ready to make a big splash in a star-studded Washington rotation.
The last time Doug Fister stepped onto a Major League mound, the stakes were high and his mission clear: with his Detroit Tigers trailing the Boston Red Sox two games to one in the 2013 American League Championship Series, he needed a big performance to knot the series.
Fister came through, holding the eventual World Champions to just one run over six magnificent innings, striking out seven batters in a 7-3 Detroit victory.
It would be the Tigers’ final win of the 2013 season, and the final time an opposing starter would limit the Red Sox to fewer than two runs in the postseason.
It was the kind of display that usually earns pitchers national notoriety and the “big game” label — particularly when they’ve led their team to six wins in seven career postseason starts, as Fister has done. Instead, it simply helped validate what fans, scouts and members of the statistics-based community had been saying for years: this guy is the real deal.
Just six-and-a-half weeks later, Fister became a Washington National.
To continue reading “A Monumental Addition” on Nationals right-hander Doug Fister, along with more great content from Nationals Magazine, please visit nationals.com/publications, or pick up a copy at the Main Clubhouse Team Store at Nationals Park, as well as inside Space Coast Stadium on gamedays.
by Amanda Comak
The Washington Nationals‘ Grapefruit League slate was whittled to six remaining games on Friday afternoon when they fell to the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-0. Gio Gonzalez tossed 4.2 innings before a high pitch count cut his day a bit short, but the Nationals’ relievers did well against the Cardinals’ lineup after his departure.
Player of the Day: Right-hander Blake Treinen
Blake Treinen has been garnering a bit more attention of late, as the Nationals’ make cuts to their roster in Major League camp and the young, flamethrowing right-hander remains. Treinen, acquired from the Oakland Athletics in the trade that sent Michael Morse to the Seattle Mariners in January, 2013, has allowed just one run in his last 8.2 innings and scouts have continued to rave about his electric arsenal of pitches.
In a conversation with reporters on Friday afternoon, after he got two outs against the Cardinals, Treinen called the fact that he remains in Major League camp a “pleasant surprise.”
“My intentions and expectations coming into spring training were just to leave an impression,” Treinen told reporters. “And the fact I’m still around is an absolute blessing. I can’t thank them more for giving me the opportunity they’ve given me so far. I’m just trying to make the most of it, go day-by-day. Whatever their decision is at the end of spring training, it’s their decision. But I feel like I’ve done my absolute best to leave an impression with the big club.”
Quote of the Day: Manager Matt Williams on the ongoing competition for the starting second base job between Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa
“I’m not ready to make that decision yet. We’ve got a week left. They’ll continue to play and get at-bats. I like what I’ve seen. They’ve competed well. Anthony has played really well. His swing is right on. Danny’s swing is right on right now. They’re both quality defenders in the infield. They both play multiple positions. So, there’s options there.”
Caleb Ramsey makes a phenomenal play to throw out Kolten Wong at third base from deep in right field foul territory:
The Nationals will play their penultimate home game on Saturday afternoon when the Miami Marlins visit Space Coast Stadium. Doug Fister will start for the Nationals… Jordan Zimmermann will pitch in a Minor League game on Saturday as well.