The Detroit Tigers currently have a 15-8 record heading into their fourth day off in the month of August.
While their play has been stagnant at times, their bats are starting to perk up, and many of the core players are starting to return to last year's form.
This is a great sight for Tiger fans, as the team is heading into the final month of play.
However, the White Sox, who are currently 14-7 this month, are getting very hot as of late. They have a five-game winning streak going, and it is looking very likely that it will become a six-game streak, as they are leading the Seattle Mariners in a rain-delayed game.
One of the key figures Detroit will be leaning heavily on as we approach the final stretch run this season is Doug Fister.
Fister is currently day-to-day with a strained groin, which is his third injury this season.
In his last ten games, Fister has an ERA of 3.49 with 60 strikeouts and 15 walks.
The Tigers were encouraged with Fister's pitching during the month of July, as he was pitching incredibly well.
From July 13 through August 4, which includes five starts, Fister was on fire. He went no less than seven innings in all of those contests, including a complete game on August 4, and he only gave up a total of seven runs in 39 innings pitched.
However, in his last start against the Baltimore Orioles, Fister gave up a whopping seven runs in only 3.2 innings pitched. It was later reported that Fister suffered the injury only three pitches into the game but felt he could continue.
As the season winds down, there is no doubt that Fister will be able to return to his dominant and skillful form.
There is no reason to blame Fister for attempting to pitch through an injury, as every athlete wants to stay on the field and contribute.
This is a good sign for Detroit and the team's fans; this should tell everyone that he is willing to sacrifice a little pain in order to help the team win. While he was unsuccessful, no one can fault his effort.
Fister is a pivotal and irreplaceable member of Detroit's rotation, and he will be crucial in helping to propel the Tigers ahead of the White Sox in the AL Central race.
Look for Doug Fister to return to form as soon as he reappears in the Tigers' rotation, and hopefully that occurs very soon.