Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit
By STEVE KORNACKI  |  Last updated 7/26/13
DETROIT There was Fists of Fury, the Bruce Lee martial arts flick from 1971 that has become a classic. And now the Detroit Tigers have the Fist of Fury, as in Doug Fister, pitching at a furious pace and dicing up the Philadelphia Phillies in a 2-1 duel with Cole Hamels. Friday nights game was over in 2:24, and the fireworks show was done before the game usually concludes. Hes a good guy to pitch on fireworks night, noted Tigers manager Jim Leyland. He works fast. Leyland was making light of players trying to beat the late-departing crowds when the pyrotechnic show takes place at Comerica Park. But he liked the pace, too. It was downright 1968-like, when games always ended at about the time this one did. And for Fister, that pace is a very important element. He always gets the ball back from the pitcher and readies to pitch quicker than almost anybody. He does this while also holding runners close and being extremely hard to steal against. But Fister noted a fine line between rushing his delivery and working quickly at a steady tempo. And finding the proper balance is something he said hes accomplished by constantly talking with Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones. Its an awareness of keeping tempo, Fister said. Its about being steady, fairly quick and not rushingI do take pride in going fast. But theres a fine line between hurrying and the right tempo. Tigers catcher Alex Avila, whose two-run double in the fifth inning gave Detroit the lead it wouldnt lose, said, Going fast-paced helps him out. When hes not, he falls into over-thinking and falls out of rhythmAnd then its tougher for him to repeat his delivery. And repeating deliveries is how a pitcher finds his rhythm and victories. Fister (9-5, 3.67 ERA) appears to be back on track after coming out fast this season and then sputtering. He was 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA after three starts, and then went 15 starts with only three wins. But in his last three outings, Fister has won every time and posted a 1.35 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Hes found his groove. The All-Star break has become as refreshing as a long power nap for Fister, who does actually snooze on a big leather clubhouse sofa before every start. He needed a break, Leyland said, and hopefully it freshened him up. Fister was 2-6 with a 4.75 ERA before the break last year, and then 8-4 with a 2.67 ERA the rest of the way. He struck out a franchise-record nine consecutive Kansas City Royals on Sept. 27, and maintained his prowess with a 1.40 ERA in three post-season starts. Its a great, timely blow for me between the physical and mentally, Fister said of the All-Star break. Its a re-boosting. Fister came out after throwing 109 pitches and striking out six with only one walk and three hits. The lone run against him was unearned. Hes never won more than 11 games in one season as a professional, but appears a cinch to top that and have his first winning record in the majors. Fister has been 6-14, 11-13 and 10-10 in three full seasons with the Tigers and Seattle Mariners, who traded him to Detroit on July 30, 2011. He went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA after the Tigers acquired him that season, beginning his trend of closing seasons with flair. In like a lamb, out like a lion thats Fister. Hes proven to be one of the best pitchers in the second half, said Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit, who made it 10-for-10 in save situations after taking the ball in the ninth inning. Everything went right for Detroit in this game, but the starter set the tone. The key was Fister, Leyland said. He was terrific. His command, curveball and tempo were all there and working in sync. Avila said he was like a machine on the mound. Fister put away the Phillies in short order. The Fist of Fury was kicking quickly in his delivery and punching out batters like a baseball Bruce Lee.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Texans will have a draft pick announced from outer space

Kobe Bryant on if he misses basketball: ‘No, I don’t’

Jay Cutler's agent: QB has no plans to retire

Projected first-round pick Gareon Conley accused of rape

Jamaal Charles reminds teams he’s still available

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Raiders to announce draft picks from ‘Las Vegas’ sign

Riley nearly wrote Dan Gilbert-like letter when LeBron left Heat

Seahawks GM says Marshawn Lynch, Raiders ‘still talking’

Damian Lillard: Beating Warriors has become an obsession

Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire after 2017 season

Watson warns teams against picking Trubisky over him

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NFL Draft X-factor players you may have missed during their college careers

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Box Score 4/25: 'So long, sleeves'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

NBA Weekend Awards: Who takes home the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy?

Where it went wrong: Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 exits

20 of the best NFL Draft red carpet looks

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB (and that's just the injuries)

11 names you need to know for the NFL Draft

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NFL Draft X-factor players you may have missed during their college careers

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Most inspirational sports movies, series and docs available for streaming

NBA Weekend Awards: Who takes home the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy?

Where it went wrong: Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 exits

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB

11 names you need to know for the NFL Draft

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker