The strong outing at home against the NL East's second-place Braves snapped a three-game losing streak for the Nats' 30-year-old starter, who posted a 5.94 ERA and a .365/.405/.595 line against in 16 ⅔ innings over consecutive starts against and losses to the Giants, Phillies and Dodgers.
The start against the Braves was Fister's first scoreless outing since August 12th when he beat the New York Mets in Citi Field, throwing seven innings on the mound in a 7-1 win.
The two hits Fister allowed in the win over Atlanta last Monday came in his first two innings of work, but a double play followed Braves' second baseman Tommy La Stella's one-out single in the second and the Nats' starter proceeded to retire 14 of the next 16 batters before issuing a walk to La Stella with two down in the seventh.
At that point, Nationals' manager Matt Williams made a visit to the mound to get a read on Fister.
"I wasn't going to take him out," Williams told reporters after Fister completed the inning and the Nationals beat the Braves, 2-1.
"I just wanted to go out there and let him know that he had this guy. He was good. He was adamant about having him too."
"I asked him if he wanted this man," Williams explained when asked how the conversation went, "and he said, 'Yes' and I turned around and went back to the dugout."
Williams just wanted to look Fister in the eyes and make sure he was good to go.
"I want to read him," he said. "I want to make sure that he's feeling okay. And I asked him how he was and he said he was good, so I turned around. I mean, I really had no plans on taking him out, but I want to read his eyes too. But he was intense and wanted the last hitter."
A groundout by Andrelton Simmons ended the seventh, Tyler Clippard, Matt Thornton and Craig Stammen combined to complete the eighth after the Braves' scored their only run and Drew Storen struck out the side in the ninth to lock down Fister's 13th win.
The Nationals' 6'8'' starter goes for win no.14 tonight, back in Citi Field in the third game of the Nats' four-game set in New York.
• Here's the Nationals' lineup for tonight game, in which Fister takes on Mets' right-hander Zack Wheeler: