Nats’ Fister not looking into future as free agent

By Bill Ladson
LOS ANGELES — Nationals right-hander Doug Fister made his first relief appearance of the season in an 8-3 victory over the Dodgers on Monday night.

Fister pitched the ninth inning and allowed a three-run homer to Carl Crawford. In fairness, Fister should have been out of the inning, but shortstop Ian Desmond made a throwing error that forced Fister to get an extra out.

Fister felt a sense of relief after he made his first appearance out of the bullpen. He was taken out of the rotation last week in favor of Joe Ross because Fister had problems keeping the ball down. In fact, he allowed 13 homers this year.

“The first one is over. I haven’t done it for a while. So I wasn’t real sure what it takes with all the little details,” Fister said. “It went smoothly, being able to warm up and being ready. I felt good last night. I feel like I’m back on track of where I need to be. Yeah, Crawford got to it. It was a decent pitch. But I have to tip my cap to him.”

Fister plans to keep a positive attitude about his new role, work hard in the bullpen and in games. He said being negative doesn’t solve anything.

“It doesn’t do anybody any good if I’m negative,” Fister said. “If I’m hiding in the corner, that doesn’t help anybody else. We are a team here. The ultimate goal is to win the World Series.”

Fister will be a free agent after the season, but hasn’t thought about how his role in the bullpen will affect him on the open market. Fister is not expected to be back with Washington next year.

“I figure that will take care of itself,” Fister said. “If I can get back on track and pitch well, where I fall is where I fall in the free-agent market. There is nothing I can do to change it, but pitch better.”

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