Is it just me or is the Tigers pitching rotation, behind Justin Verlander, a lot like Rodney Dangerfield? No respect I tell you.
I listen to a lot of pundits, talking heads, and bloggers that think the Tigers are not a very intimidating team against the likes of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers in a playoff matchup. I’ve got a newsflash for anyone who number one—is not a Tigers fan, and number two—is just not paying attention.
On July 30, Dave Dombrowski made what most would call an “under the radar” move that would put the Tigers head and shoulders above the rest of the AL Central. He traded for a starting pitcher named Doug Fister.
Doug Fister was not a well known name (not much has changed) coming from Seattle. He was sporting a record of 3-12 which was the result of him having the lowest run support of any starting pitcher in the American League with just 1.97 runs per game. His ERA was a respectable 3.33.
Whenever I hear an argument against the Tigers being able to do any damage in the postseason, it is usually that their rotation behind Verlander is not very good—and lets face it, before the Fister trade that argument held water. Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, and Brad Penny have all been inconsistent this year to say the least.
Since he was acquired by the Tigers, Fister has brought consistency to the rotation behind Verlander, going 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA. Comparing him with other probable number two pitchers in the postseason, Fister has the lowest earned runs against, walks and hits per innings pitched, and the lowest pitching average.
Going into October (that feels good to say), the Tigers have the best starting pitcher in baseball this year in Verlander, and the best (although no one knows it) second starting pitcher in the AL. Something tells me that Fister will not be getting the Rodney Dangerfield treatment after this postseason.