Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister set a new American League record on Thursday by striking out nine consecutive batters during his start versus Kansas City. They’ve been playing baseball in the AL since 1901 and no one has ever done what Fister did against the Royals this afternoon.
Fister, whose run began with a strikeout of Salvador Perez in the fourth inning, retired each of the next eight batters via strikeout as well. With his strikeout of Alcides Escobar to end the sixth, Fister tied the Tigers franchise record with seven straight punchouts. When he fanned Alex Gordon looking to start the seventh, Fister passed Denny McLain and John Hiller, and did so by tying the AL record.
Fister then caught Billy Butler looking for his ninth consecutive K, passing former Royal Blake Stein, who had turned the trick in setting the AL record in 2001. Fister missed out on Tom Seaver’s Major League record of 10 in a row, set in 1970.
Since coming to the Tigers from Seattle at the trade deadline in 2011, Fister has seen a significant jump in his strikeout rate, but he’s still not a guy you would label a strikeout artist. Coming into this start, Fister had amassed 125 strikeouts in 149 innings, for a rate of 7.5 per nine innings. In three seasons with the Mariners, Fister fanned just 5.2 batters per nine.