Rachel Levitin: How about Doug Fister, right?

How about Doug Fister, right?!?

Despite a delayed start to the 2014 season due to a strained lat muscle, the right-handed starting pitcher has made his mark on the National League. Fister made his major league debut in 2009 with the Seattle Mariners and became a solid back-of-the-rotation guy. Since then, Fister has made his mark on three variations of Tigers playoff teams before coming to Washington in exchange for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and Robbie Ray in December 2013.

And while this might be a sweeping generalization of his past few outings, Fister has demonstrated his worth to Washington's ballclub. Fister picked up his 12th win of 2014 last night at Citi Field in a 7-1 victory over the New York Mets. Sure, the spotlight was on recent call-up outfielder Michael A. Taylor due to a fantastic major league debut, but it's only fair to call just as much attention to the fact that Fister is a definite anchor to this 2014 rotation.

His season debut with the Nationals in Oakland wasn't picture-perfect by any means, as he gave up five earned runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. But with so many hard-hitting bats and solid defensive gloves down for the count in waves throughout this season, having an anchor in Fister is one of the reasons Washington remains atop the National League East.

The Nats are now five games ahead of the Atlanta Braves with roughly six weeks to go in the season. If Fister continues to play the way he has and can then channel his previous playoff experience down the stretc to give the Nats the hope of playing baseball in October again, then D.C. might be in for quite an exciting batch of games as this pennant race gets down to the wire.

Rachel Levitin blogs about the Nationals for We Love DC. Follow her on Twitter: @RHLevitin. She will be sharing her observations about baseball in the nation's capital as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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