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Big League Stew

Tough guy: Doug Fister stays in Game 2 after taking line drive off head

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

SAN FRANCISCO — Get Doug Fister an auto deal because the man is built Ford tough.

Though the play made the rest of us cringe, the Detroit Tigers pitcher shook off a scary incident when Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco hit a line drive off the top of Fister's head and into the outfield during Detroit's 2-0 loss to San Francisco in Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night. The hit occurred with two outs in the second inning and the impact of the ball was so hard that it got enough air and sailed into short center field like it was a bloop single. Buster Posey moved into second on the play while Blanco took first.

There was understandably a lot of concern for Fister after the play, especially in a season where Oakland A's pitcher Brandon McCarthy had to undergo brain surgery after being injured on  a similar play. But the right-hander shook it off almost immediately. He was checked out by Tigers trainers and took several warmup pitches to make sure that he was OK.

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told reporter Susan Slusser that Fister had passed all of the doctor's tests and would fly back to Detroit with the rest of the team. No further exams are planned at this time, though plenty of concerned fans on Twitter — including McCarthy — wondered why Fister would not receive a CT scan to be as safe as possible.

"I'm fine," Fister said after the game. "I got a little bump. No damage. Just a matter of I threw a changeup that he squared up and it came right back at me."

Fister received a nice ovation from the Giants fans at AT&T Park, both when he was throwing the warmup pitches and then when it was decided he could remain in the game. 

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(AP)

"If you'd have been out there, it was something to see,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ''Because the trainer was saying, 'Where are you?' 'San Francisco.' 'What game is it?' 'Game No. 2.'

''I don't want to make light of it, but it was kind of comical really because Doug was right on with everything. But I was scared to death when it happened.''

Though Fister walked Brandon Crawford to load the bases after resuming the game, he got pitcher Madison Bumgarner to pop out and end the inning. He would go on to pitch six solid innings in a pitching duel against the victorious Madison Bumgarner, only being pulled after surrendering a leadoff single to Hunter Pence in the top of the seventh. Pence would come around to score with what would prove to be the winning run, but it was hard to fault Fister on a night when he put together the performance that he did.

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