Dave Dombrowski Is Starting To Look Like An Evil Genius For Believing In Doug Fister
David Price last pitched for the Boston Red Sox on July 22. He was placed on the disabled list on July 28, and we haven’t seen him since. On that same day that the decision was made to put Price on the shelf, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski held a press conference, three days before the trade deadline, in which he said, “We feel comfortable with Doug Fister moving into the rotation.”
At the time, Fister had thrown 25.1 innings for the Red Sox and had accumulated a 6.04 ERA, a 1.82 WHIP, and opponents were hitting .299 with an .888 OPS against him. Those numbers brought Dombrowski “comfort”. Fucking guy must watch Human Centipede while eating a bag of WarHeads when he needs to relax and unwind. Jesus. Regardless of how ridiculous the comment looked at the time, Fister’s next time out on July 31, he pitched into the eighth inning, seven and two thirds, against the best team in the league in the Cleveland Indians, allowing just two earned runs, while striking out five.
Last night, Fister threw seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits, while striking out nine. That one run came in the first inning, of course. Since taking Price’s spot in the rotation, Fister has a 6.43 ERA in the first inning and a 2.18 ERA from the second inning on. Overall, since that first start against Cleveland on July 31, his first outing since Dombrowski gave him that vote of confidence, Fister has made seven starts, has a 2.79 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and opponents are hitting .194 with a .542 OPS against him. That’s the sixth lowest ERA and the fifth best WHIP in the American League over that span. He’s also averaging seven innings per start over this run that he’s been on. Only Corey Kluber has averaged more innings per start (7.2) over that span of time.
So, I guess this begs the question — Dave Dombrowski, evil genius or lucky guess? I think Dombrowski got really lucky in that Fister’s run of being the best starting pitcher on the Red Sox staff happened immediately after he essentially said “this is our guy” when Price went down. It’s a case of, “Well, what else did you expect him to say?” because he’s not going to go up there and be like, “Soooo bad news, guys. David Price’s elbow is fucked, and our internal replacement for him is a guy who has an ERA over six, and we don’t really have the resources or the payroll flexibility to trade for a starter that’s better than him, so yeah. We’re fucked.”
Fister has had plenty of success at the major league level, but he really hasn’t pitched this well since 2014 with the Nationals. Sure, there’s always the chance that a guy with prior success can show flashes of that later down the line after they start to regress, but this was almost like Dombrowski snapped his fingers and 2014 Fister appeared out of thin air.
Somehow, Apple Watches are going to get blamed for this. Or maybe it’s that listening device that the Yankees noticed Fister wearing in the dugout that he was BLATANTLY WEARING AGAIN last night. The fucking balls on this guy to get caught cheating and then just do it again immediately after he got caught. That’s some Jon Jones shit right there. Use your head.
On a serious note, I LOVE that Fister went right back on the top step of the dugout with that mouthguard in his ear last night. That was no mistake. There’s been so much bullshit talk about the team’s “identity” this year, but it would be priceless if this team came together and bonded as a cohesive unit because the Yankees ratted them out over Apple Watches and mouthguards that they thought were listening devices. Dustin Pedroia was giving some sassy answers before the game last night, so you know that they’re pissed about this and I’m sure they want to shove it up the Yankees’ asses for handling it the way that they did.
New York got rained out last night, so with the win, the Red Sox move back to four games up in the American League East, and all of a sudden, the panic starts to settle down once again. It’s been a goddamn roller coaster over the last two weeks or so. That three-game sweep at the hands of the Orioles at Fenway Park had Boston down to a 2.5 game lead, and then they were back to a 5.5 game lead a few days later, their largest lead of the year. Then, they lost three of four to the Yankees in the Bronx, and the series opener against the Blue Jays in Boston, but then they took the next two.
Now, here they are, four games up in the division with 22 games remaining on the schedule. It’s fucking exhausting to be so invested in this team on a day-to-day basis, but I guess that’s what makes this fun? Are we having fun? This is fun, right? Maybe? Fun?
Final score: Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 1