Pitchers don't generally want opposing batters to "hit 'em where they ain't", but Doug Fister might have been willing to make an exception in this case.
The Detroit Tigers' starting pitcher in Game 2 of the 2012 World Series was struck in the side of the head by a drive off the bat of San Francisco Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco in the second inning. With one on and two away in the home second, Blanco turned a 79-mph change-up right back around. The 28-year-old pitcher turned away from the ball and flailed with his glove hand, but the batted ball hit him in the side of the head and caromed high into the air, eventually landing in shallow center field.
LOOK: Here are two GIFs of Fister getting hit.
Not only was Fister able to shake off the impact, but he was able to convince the gaggle of trainers and coaches who came out to the mound that he was able to stay in the game. After walking Brandon Crawford, Fister induced a pop up from Madison Bumgarner to escape the inning without surrendering a run (but hardly unscathed).
"I didn't see any stars, I didn't have a headache," Fister said after the Tigers came up on the wrong end of a 2-0 final score, via John Perrotto of USA Today. "I told them there are two runners on, two out, it's Game 2," Fister said. "And I'm going to get the third out."
Knowing about the serious injury suffered by Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy upon taking a liner to the head this season and the deluge of frightening information about the connection between head trauma in sports and health problems later in life, Fister's "toughness" (and the willingness of his coach's to defer to it) could be second guessed. However, in the moment, most people were just awestruck by how quickly he brushed off the knock. As he continued to put zeroes up in the scoreboard through the middle innings, perhaps the Giants' hitters would have liked the Tigers' trainers to have sideline the righty as a precaution.
"Well, if you'd have been out there, it was something to see, because the trainer was saying, "where are you," "SanFrancisco;" "what game is it," "Game No.2;" on and on and on with a few of these things," Tigers manager Jim Leyland told reporters after the game, via ASAP Sports, explaining the scene on the mound. "Actually, 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."
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
Fister was pulled in the seventh after allowing a leadoff single to Hunter Pence. With reliever Drew Smyly on the bump, the Giants' fiery dugout preacher would eventually come around to score the first run of the game. Fister's night ended with six innings completed, four hits allowed, one earned run and one terrifying shot to the head.