By James Nahikian
Doug Fister returned from the disabled list Monday night to face his former team, the Seattle Mariners. Fister, who missed almost a month due to an injury (Left side) in his first start of the season, was spectacular. He only needed 73 pitches to get through seven innings of shutout baseball. It was up to the bullpen to protect a 2-0 lead. Phil Coke pitched a scoreless 8th inning, but Octavio Dotel and Duane Below were not able to shut the door in the 9th. As Seattle walked-off to a 3-2 win.
Manager Jim Leyland is notorious for protecting his pitcher’s arms, and with Fister making his first start in quite sometime, it is understandable that he did not want to stretch him out too soon. However, you can’t help but wonder if Fister could have gone the distance. And when you have a team that is underachieving, everything gets blown out of proportion.
The problem is not the pitching. People can debate who to pitch and when to pitch them all day long, but if you are not consistently scoring runs, it is not going to matter. If the Tigers score runs like they should and like they can, the pitching will be more than enough. But will the offense come around? I think so, but it has yet to be seen.
Justin Verlander takes the mound Tuesday night at 10:10PM, and the series wraps up at the same time on Wednesday night when lefty Drew Smyly answers the call.
James Nahikian blogs about the industry of sports. And specializes in articles about the Detroit Tigers, Major League Baseball and Bowling Green State University Athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org And follow him on twitter @KingNahikian or facebook where you can find links to his articles and updates about future posts.