The Houston Astros are now in the American League. The team has been away from the National League that pitchers batting regularly are a lingering memory. Chris Carter and Evan Gattis have danced in Astros fans heads in the time since bunts and double switches.
The memories of pitchers in the No. 9 hole came rushing back with Doug Fister on the mound in St. Louis. Maybe it was the fact the Astros were playing an N.L. Central team, but the lack of designated hitter felt right.
The former Washington National pitcher Doug Fister felt right at home batting again. Fister successfully dropped down a sacrifice bunt in the third and fifth -- Marwin Gonzalez failed Fister by not moving over on the bunt.
Fister wasn't done. Fister inexplicably stepped to the plate with two runners in scoring position and two outs in the seventh inning.
Fister faced Seung Hwan Oh, aka The Final Boss, and didn't wait long to making an impact. Fister smacked a 93 MPH fastball back up the middle to score Colby Rasmus and Carlos Gomez -- putting Houston up 5-2.
The Astros have now won the last nine games that Doug Fister has started. Fister allowed two runs on five hits over 7 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and one walk.