Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports

A's 7, Red Sox 3: Not a banner night for Doug Fister

Rob Bradford
September 14, 2017 - 2:52 am

There's a long way to go. Wednesday night was a pretty good reminder of that.

When Doug Fister threw his first pitch, at 7:10 p.m., he was one of the best stories of the season for the Red Sox, having gone from waiver wire pickup to potential No. 2 starter heading into the postseason. But by the time the righty tossed his 84th, and final, offering, the storyline had changed.

Fister has suddenly entered into what will be an interesting 17-game roster competition.

After compiling a seven-start run that resulted in a 2.79 ERA, Fister fell flat in what would be a 7-3 loss to the A's. The Sox starter not only had his usual trouble in the first inning, this time giving up four runs, but allowed two more in the third. When it was all said and done he lasted just four frames. (For a complete recap of the Red Sox' loss, click here.)

Now the perceived certainty of the Red Sox' top three starters has morphed into a cauldron of uncertainty thanks to Fister's latest outing.

"I have nothing to explain it. I really have no idea," said Fister, who is scheduled to get three more starts before the end of the regular season. "I got out there with the same mentality, same approach first inning, last inning, it doesn’t matter. It’s one of those things, I guess. I need to start kicking myself in the shin and be ready in the bullpen; just kind of get mad from the get-go. I’ve got to figure that out myself."

"You know, one thing, would like to sit and talk with him," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "His routine is he warms up earlier than most guys and then there’s a little bit of a gap of time between the end of his warmups and the first pitch. To me, that’s the only common thread that I can see here where maybe that little bit of an expanded time frame forces him to go out and re-stablish his release point. I know that’s customary for him. that’s what he’s typically done, but when you see the consistency of the first inning being some traffic or some baserunners, I’d like to talk to him and see if there’s a way we can adjust that."

With the loss, the Red Sox's lead in the American League East narrows to three games. The Sox will play one more against Oakland at Fenway, Thursday afternoon, before heading for a three-game set at Tropicana Field vs. the Rays. The Yankees, meanwhile, begin a four-game series against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

Jackie Bradley Jr. hit his 16th homer of the season, giving him four home runs in his last five games against the A's.

Comments ()