The Boston Red Sox announced that right-hander Doug Fister will start Game 3 of the American League Division series against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on Sunday.
Fister follows Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz in the Red Sox’s ALDS rotation, and was selected by manager John Farrell over right-hander Rick Porcello and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.
Fister, 33, was claimed off waivers from the Angels in June, and posted a 5-9 record with a 4.88 ERA in 18 appearances, including 15 starts. He was 2-2 with a 5.58 ERA in six September starts.
“To me, the later action to the stuff,” Farrell said when asked why he chose Fister for Game 3. “A little bit more consistent sink, a little bit more separation between sinker and curveball , that’s probably what it came down to, in addition to some performance and recognizing that guys have pitched well in certain spots and there’s been some challenges mixed in for both. Felt like that was the way to go.”
Fister is 4-1 with a 1.78 ERA in eight career playoff starts, while Porcello is 0-2 with a 5.82 ERA in three postseason starts.
Porcello won the AL Cy Young Award last season, but was 11-17 with a 4.65 ERA during the regular season this year, while Rodriguez was 6-7 with a 4.19 ERA. One of the two is a potential candidate to start Game 4, if necessary, with Sale another possibility on three days’ rest.
“Wait and see how things unfold,” Farrell said. “(Porcello) will be in the bullpen the first two nights, for sure, providing length if needed and available for Game 4 depending on what transpires.”