Most Mariner fans watching the game tonight were probably cursing David Aardsma and his arsenal of 1 goddam pitch. (He threw at least 27 fastballs and approximately one slider in a relief performance that saw him give up a 3-run jack to Alexei Ramirez in the top of the 9th). But however monotonous Aardsma’s pitch “patterns” are, it’s the first six innings I would like to focus on.
Doug Fister (pictured right) finally got a chance to start, and for the most part it turned out OK. You’re probably looking at his stat line and shrieking, “For the most part…OK?! He only gave up one hit!” Calm down. He also walked FOUR batters in six innings, and his BABIP was less than 0.100 – equating to about 3 hits less than expected. He was quite fortunate that the White Sox weren’t able to take advantage of all those free passes. The hope lies in a couple key factors. He gave up only 5 fly balls versus 9 grounders, picking up a few double-play ground outs along the way. And while he struck out only four batters compared to four walks, Fister’s strikeout-to-walk ratio in the minors was exceptional, and he is likely going to be able to adjust to the big leagues and drop that walk rate eventually. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have early success with Seattle this season. Maybe he could even show Aardsma how to throw a breaking ball.