Nationals' starter Doug Fister strong again in 10-2 win over Rangers

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals' right-hander Doug Fister retired the first ten batters he faced today, and limited the Texas Rangers to two runs in six innings in what ended up a 10-2 win in the nation's capital. Fister's pace and game plan impressed his manager...

Doug Fister retired the first ten batters he faced on Saturday afternoon in the nation's capital. Six of those ten Texas Rangers' batters grounded out and three K'd looking. There was one down in the fourth when Elvis Andrus doubled to left field on a 3-1 fastball for the first hit of the game off the Nats' 30-year-old right-hander, who retired the next two hitters to strand Andrus at second at the end of his fourth scoreless inning of work in what ended up a 10-2 win.

"He had a really good game plan. Kind of sat with the position players yesterday and went over it. He has some experience against these guys..." -Matt Williams on Doug Fister vs the Rangers

Fister gave up just his second walk in 28 2/3 IP to that point in the first at bat of the Rangers' fifth, and a pop to short right that neither Jayson Werth or Danny Espinosa could catch in spite of Espinosa's over-the-shoulder attempt, allowed the walk to come around for the first run the Nationals' starter allowed.

Shin-Soo Choo doubled to left on an 0-1 change in the sixth before scoring when Fister left an 0-2 curve up for Rangers' first baseman Mitch Moreland, who lined it off the out-of-town scoreboard in right.

The Nationals scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a Scott Hairston home run so when Fister officially left the game in the top of the seventh, Washington was up 10-2.

Fister earned the win, improving to (3-1) in five starts with the six-inning effort in which he gave up four hits, the one walk and two earned runs while striking out six. He threw 104 pitches, 69 of them strikes.

"They expect the ball to be put in play. He throws strikes with all of his pitches. The radar gun doesn't light up, but he puts it where he wants to..." -Williams on Fister's pace on the mound

When he was done for the day, the former Detroit Tigers' starter, acquired by the Nats in a 3-for-1 trade this winter, had a 3.34 ERA, a 4.00 FIP, two walks (0.63 BB/9) and 23 Ks (6.98 K/9) in 29 2/3 IP overall so far in 2014.

"He was good," Nationals' manager Matt Williams told reporters. "He had a really good game plan. Kind of sat with the position players yesterday and went over it. He has some experience against these guys that the rest of our guys don't [necessarily] have, so he wanted to sit with them and talk to them about it. But he had a really good game plan about how to attack them. He hung a curveball to Moreland, but other than that he was pretty good."

The curve to Moreland was really the only mistake Fister made on the mound in Nationals Park.

Working quickly as usual, he managed to keep the game moving and keep his defense alert.

"You're on your toes because you expect the ball to be put in play and it's happening so quickly." -Matt Williams on Doug Fister's fast pace

"They expect the ball to be put in play," Williams explained in talking about Fister's pacing. "He throws strikes with all of his pitches. The radar gun doesn't light up, but he puts it where he wants to, he's got a good game plan going out there. He's an athlete, so he can do a lot of things on the baseball diamond to help himself too, so all of that is really good for us."

"He grabs the ball and goes and you don't have time to stand defensively," the Nats' skipper continued.

"You're on your toes because you expect the ball to be put in play and it's happening so quickly."

After he was roughed up in his first start of the season in Oakland's O.co Coliseum, surrendering nine hits and seven runs, five earned in 4 1/3 IP, Fister's allowed just six runs total (2.13 ERA) in his last four starts and 25 1/3 IP.

Fister has also received run support in his last four outings, with the Nationals' scoring 29 runs in his starts, after they were shut out by the A's 8-0 in his 2014 debut.

The Nationals' impressive offensive output in the first two games with Texas has put them in a position to sweep the Rangers with a win in Sunday's series finale, but to do it they'll have to beat right-hander Yu Darvish, who posted a 2.10 ERA in four starts and 30 IP in May, holding opposing hitters to a .185/.254/.296 line over the last month.

The Nationals haven't won three straight since the end of April, when they took two in a row from the Houston Astros and the first game of a three-game road series from the Phillies.

• We talked about Fister's outing, the Nationals' offensive surge, Anthony Rendon's defense and more on the latest edition of Nats Nightly:

Check Out Baseball Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker