HOUSTON -- For the 10th straight time this season, Doug Fister started on the mound and the Astros won. That stretch includes seven consecutive victories by Fister himself."We win when he pitches," manager A.J. Hinch said Monday during batting practice before the Astros' 10-7 win over the Angels.He's right. It's
HOUSTON -- For the 10th straight time this season, Doug Fister started on the mound and the Astros won. That stretch includes seven consecutive victories by Fister himself.
"We win when he pitches," manager A.J. Hinch said Monday during batting practice before the Astros' 10-7 win over the Angels.
He's right. It's the Astros' longest winning streak in games started by one pitcher since Collin McHugh's 11-game run from Aug. 28, 2014-May 7, 2015.
Since Fister's streak began May 1, he is 7-0 with an ERA of 2.38. Those seven straight wins tie a career-long for Fister and are also good for the second-longest streak in the American League.
"If I can work at a good pace, that allows our defense to stay on their toes and get back in the dugout to go back to hitting," Fister said. "And that's what they do well."
In Monday's win, Fister was impressive once again, going seven innings and allowing only two earned runs on four hits. He also struck out five.
"I was impressed with how he changed pace quite a bit during the outing," Hinch said. "He held them down while we continued to tack runs and as we separated. It fits right into his wheelhouse where he can cut it, he can sink it, he can throw these slow curveballs and really make it difficult on the opponent."
In a season when reigning Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel has struggled, Fister has evolved into the Astros' most consistent starter. He currently owns the lowest ERA (3.21) and best winning percentage (.727) of any starting pitcher on the team.
Hinch said Fister's often up-tempo pace is a key to success for the club.
"We play good when he pitches," Hinch said. "He sets the tempo … he pitches at such an impressive pace that keeps the defense alert, that keeps the action moving and the quality comes with it."
Second baseman Jose Altuve added that along with Fister's pace, Fister's the type of teammate you want to give your all for.
"He deserves you to be 100 percent (as a defender) for him," Altuve said.
Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.