Friday, March 7, 2014
DETROIT — When the Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers made a trade on July 20, 2011, baseball fans in Maine first noticed that left-hander Charlie Furbush of South Portland and Saint Joseph’s College was being dealt.
The Tigers traded Furbush and two other players to Seattle for pitchers Doug Fister and David Pauley.
Pauley, a former Sea Dogs right-hander, was released the next spring.
Fister? He’s worked out, going 32-10 with a 3.28 ERA in his time with Detroit.
This year, Fister recorded a 14-9 record (3.67). He starts Thursday in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, against Boston and Jake Peavy.
Fister made two starts against the Red Sox this year – a loss on June 21 when he gave up six runs in 31/3 inning, and a 3-0 shutout on Sept. 2 when he allowed four hits and four walks over seven innings.
“I think we grounded into four or five double plays that day,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He’s got the ability to get two outs with one pitch.
It was actually three double plays, but Fister’s ability to get ground balls makes you think it’s more.
“I’m not a strikeout guy,” Fister said. “I’m a guy who goes out and gets ground balls.”
Fister will not be coming at the Red Sox with power – like Detroit’s three better-known starters. But he can still dominate.
“He’s more of a contact, mis-hit type of pitcher,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “Excellent curveball and change-up, good movement.”
JAKE PEAVY may be more familiar with the Tigers than other Red Sox pitchers because of his 21/2 seasons with the White Sox. Peavy is 4-5 with a 4.83 ERA in his career against Detroit.
“I do know those guys well,” Peavy said. “We had a lot of matchups. Some of them went well, some of them didn’t go so well. That’s all out the window.”
The top three Tigers in the batting order have had the most success against Peavy: Austin Jackson (.321), Torii Hunter (.438) and Miguel Cabrera (.289, three home runs).
UMPIRE WALLY BELL died of a heart attack Monday night at the age of 48. He was not assigned to this series, but did work the Pirates-Cardinals playoff series.
“I just want to say how deeply saddened everybody in our community obviously is with the passing of Wally Bell,” said Peavy, who began his press conference with heartfelt comments about Bell.
JONNY GOMES WAS in the lineup Tuesday against Justin Verlander, even though switch-hitter Daniel Nava normally starts against right-handed pitchers.
Farrell talked about Gomes’ intangibles: “When we’ve done some things offensively, Jonny has been in the middle of it.”
Gomes almost made Farrell look like a genius in the second inning when he swatted a long line drive. But it went foul.
Gomes got the first hit off of Verlander Tuesday with a broken-bat infield single in the fifth. He struck out his other two times, but saw 20 pitches in his four plate appearances, helping to up Verlander’s pitch count.
Nava has a .417 average against Doug Fister. But there’s no guarantee he will play Wednesday.
AFTER THE TOP of the second inning, the lights went out at Comerica Park. Major League Baseball officials said it was caused by a power company sub-station “going off line.” The power came right back on, but it takes 15 minutes for the lights to re-boot. The game was delayed 17 minutes.
THIS IS A RARE feeling for the Red Sox, taking a 2-1 lead in the ALCS. They normally trail after Game 3 (and usually after Game 4). Boston trailed the Yankees 2-1 in 2003 and 3-0 in 2004. The Red Sox fell behind Cleveland 3-1 in 2007, and Tampa Bay in 2008.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: