DETROIT – Detroit right-hander Doug Fister pitched remarkably in Game 2 of the World Series, taking a shutout bid into the seventh inning after being hit in the head by a line drive in the second.
Although he showed few ill effects from that scary moment, the Tigers still were keeping an eye on him.
“He will be checked out,” manager Jim Leyland said Friday. “We will take care of everything.”
A team spokesman later said trainer Kevin Rand had pronounced Fister fine. Leyland felt comfortable enough about Fister’s prognosis that he joked a bit about flying back to Detroit with the pitcher.
“He was sitting right behind his folks and I had a nice conversation with him,” Leyland said. “I’m a little worried about him because this morning he didn’t remember our conversation – no, I’m just kidding.”
San Francisco finally scored in the seventh inning and went on to win 2-0 on Thursday night. The Giants lead the series by that same count.
Although Fister was unable to protect himself from Gregor Blanco’s line drive, it may have dealt enough of a glancing blow that he avoided a major injury. The ball struck Fister just above the right ear and ricocheted into short center field for a single.
“I think he’s fine because I did talk to him,” Leyland said. “I’m serious now. I did talk to him on the plane last night, and he seemed fine. He’s a little sore, but there didn’t appear to be anything that looked alarming like loss of memory. He looked fine, his eyes looked fine, and the trainers have checked him out, so I think he’s fine.”
WEATHER WORRIES?: After picture-perfect conditions in San Francisco, the World Series moves to Detroit, where it was already a bit chilly on the field Friday afternoon.
High temperatures are expected to be in the low 50s this weekend, when Games 3 and 4 will be played at Comerica Park. It could be even colder for Game 5 on Monday.
“Playing in cold weather, I don’t think any baseball player is a stranger to it,” Detroit catcher Alex Avila said. “More than half the teams have to play at the beginning of the season in cold weather, and obviously in the postseason. Unless you’re in a dome, it’s going to be somewhat cold. That’s just the way it is.”
Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco’s Game 3 starter, has a similar attitude.
“It’s the World Series. You can’t be worried about how cold it is,” he said. “I threw a game in Chicago last year where it was 34 degrees, and it was raining and sleeting, and I threw the ball pretty well that night.”
Another issue that could pop up is Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to come ashore on the East Coast early next week. Detroit isn’t exactly bracing for that storm, but it’s never clear how widespread the effects will be.
“We evaluate games day by day and have not heard of any issues thus far regarding games here in Detroit,” said Pat Courtney of Major League Baseball.
PANDA’S (MARKET) POWER: Those panda hats that Giants fans wear to support third baseman Pablo Sandoval are very much in vogue during this World Series.
The Giants reported sales of 466 hats for Game 2, in the wake of Sandoval’s three-homer performance in the series opener. A total of 760 hats were sold for Games 1 and 2.