Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Doug Fister’s Struggles Continue In Loss To Pirates

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Jul 23, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Doug Fister (58) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Time To Worry About Doug Fister 

Last night was a rough night for Doug Fister to say the least. The 31-year-old right-hander went five innings, gave up four runs on nine hits for the second straight start, struck out six, and walked one on 99 pitches (65 strikes). While Fister was pounding the strike zone, the problem was that he left a lot of pitches up in the zone.

Out of the nine hits that the Pirates had against him, five of them went for extra-bases. Fister, who is known as a groundball pitcher, had just five groundball outs last night. That number is tied for the lowest he’s had this season (May 14 and April 16).

Since returning from the disabled list on June 18 against the Tampa Bay Rays, Fister is 1-4 over the course of those six starts.  Plus, he has given up four earned runs or more in five of those outings. This is not the stretch Fister wanted to have, especially when he will be a free agent at the end of the year.

After the game, Fister told the media that he feels fine, but is still having issues with that sinker and he is getting frustrated:

While the Nats rotation has been steady of late with the likes of  Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, and Joe Ross, the Nationals still need Fister to get back to his 2014 form and not continue to be the pitcher that has had opponents hit .338 against him in three starts this month. 

Next: Nats Miss Chance For Big 5th Inning