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August 11, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Game thread, Aug. 11, Mariners vs. White Sox, Fister of Fury edition

8:59 p.m. (TOP OF EIGHTH): Three double plays have been huge for the Mariners. Still 1-0.
8:27 p.m. (TOP OF SIXTH): I’d guess that Fister, having thrown 94 pitches, is done — and what a spectacular performance. Six innings, no runs, one hit allowed (a cheapy infield job by Jim Thome at that), four strikeouts, four walks, one hit batter. The Mariners couldn’t have asked for more. My hunch is that Wakamatsu will want Fisterto leave with a good feeling, and take him out of the game rather than risk having it slip away in the seventh. 1-0.
8:12 p.m. (TOP OF FIFTH): Fister continues to be nothing but impressive. He walks Getz with one out (his third walk, plus a hit batter) and throws a ball to Podsednik. Johjima goes out to talk to him, and the next pitch is a double-play ball by Gordon “Don’t you dare use a cheap ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ pun”: Beckham. End of inning. 1-0 Mariners.
8:08 pm. (BOTTOM OF FOURTH): The M’s get a lead on Adrian Beltre’s one-out double, followed by a single to right by Branyan. Beltre scored, and Branyan got hung out between first and second. Will that be the only run Fister will need tonight? If so, it will be a debut to remember for a guy that began the year in Double-A. 1-0 Mariners.
7:59 p.m. (TOP OF FOURTH): Hmm. Maybe he is The One. 0-0.
7:53 P.M. (BOTTOM OF THIRD): The M’s squandered a big chance after getting the first two men on. But Gutierrez hit into a double-play and Lopez, who has already stranded three runners, flied out. 0-0.
Saunders’ bunt single was his fifth in 16 games. The Mariners’ record for bunt singles by a rookie is held, not surprisingly, by Ichiro (10 in 2001), followed by Shane Monahan (seven in 1998) and Jeremy Reed (six in 2005). Saunders already stands fourth.
7:47 p.m. (TOP OF THIRD): Another good job by Fister of wiggling out of trouble after giving up a leadoff walk and then hitting Gordon Beckham with one out. He then got out the three and four hitters, Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome. Impressive. Yes, he appears to be getting squeezed a bit.
7:30 p.m. (TOP OF SECOND): Another impressive inning for Fister, who still hasn’t given up a hard-hit ball and seems cool, calm and collected on the mound.
7:16 P.M. (TOP OF FIRST): Fister, whose trademark is his control (12 walks in 112 innings) showed some nerves, falling behind almost every hitter and walking the second man he faced, Gordon Beckham. But he showed good composure coming back from 3-0 to retire Paul Konerko to end the inning with runners on first and third. No one hit the ball hard off him, especially Jim Thome, who got a broken-bat hit when his slow roller went to the left side, confounding the Mariners’ shift. 0-0
Initial snap judgment on Fister: He’s a tall drink of water.
This just in: The Mariners will get C.C. Sabathia on Thursday, and Andy Pettitte on Friday in the first two games of the Yankee series. The last two games are still being listed as “TBA,” but I’m hearing Whitey Ford and Fritz Peterson are a possibility. (The Mariners will go with Ian Snell, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Luke French and Doug Fister. No Felix against the Yankees, because he pitches tomorrow.
It’s always intriguing to see someone make their major-league debut, especially a starting pitcher; that’s not quite the case with Doug Fister, who worked an inning on Saturday, but it’s his first major-league start, and it has the same kind of feel. There’s always the possibility looming that this is The One. Based on a 4.13 ERA in 17 starts at Tacoma, and 126 hits allowed in 93 2/3 innings by Fister, I’ve got to admit, I’m a bit skeptical. But let’s give the kid a chance.
White Sox
Scott Podsednik CF
Gordon Beckham 3B
Jermaine Dye RF
Jim Thome DH
Paul Konerko 1B
A.J. Pierzynski C
Carlos Quentin LF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Chris Getz 2B
John Danks LHP (9-8, 4.23)
Ichiro RF
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Jose Lopez 2B
Mike Sweeney DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Russell Branyan 1B
Jack Wilson SS
Kenji Johjima C
Michael Saunders LF
Doug Fister RHP (0-0, 0.00)



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