You read that title right.
The Boston Red Sox are in first place right now, but if you saw what their roster is in late August back in September, that might be a bit of a shock. 2016 AL All-Star Steven Wright isn’t in the rotation. David Price isn’t in the rotation. They’re both hurt and yet, the Red Sox are winning ballgames. What gives?
Well, Chris Sale is the Cy Young favorite and Drew Pomeranz has shocked us all as a dominant arm. No one was expecting his emergence. Not many were expecting Rick Porcello’s struggles though. One other surprise would be Doug Fister though. He’s been a solid No. 5 starting pitcher for the Red Sox this season.
Fister has a 4.22 ERA in nine MLB starts this season with 47 strikeouts in 53.1 innings. That’s solid. His last two outings have been excellent. He pretty much no-hit the Indians in one of those starts if we just ignore the leadoff home run he let up. Oh, and he followed that game up by letting up two runs in seven innings against the Orioles. Come to think of it, four of his last five starts have been quality starts. That’s not bad.
It may also be worth noting that Fister has a solid postseason track record. In his last eight playoff starts (so pretty much all of them except the first playoff start he ever made), he has a 1.78 ERA over 50.2 innings. Not gonna sit here and say he should be in the Red Sox playoff rotation if they make it that far, but I just found a stat that makes the case intriguing since none of the Red Sox other starters have a playoff win to their credit.
If the veteran is half competent in September, however, then who knows what’ll happen? Maybe we see more of this: