Doug Fister struck out nine consecutive Royals on Thursday, setting an American League record. The AL record of eight was previously held by four different pitchers, including Nolan Ryan twice.
The streak started against Salvador Perez in the top of the fourth inning, with Fister ringing him up on a called strike three. Six of Fister's nine strikeouts were looking. If GameDay is to be believed -- and there's always a little danger relying on it too much for instant strike/ball calls -- none of the called third strikes were obvious, egregious blown calls. There were a couple that were borderline. Nothing Frank Drebin-like, though.
When Doug Fister was a young pitcher with the Seattle Mariners, he was dumped into the "innings-eater" pile because of his low strikeout rate -- 5.2 per nine innings pitched. Since arriving in Detroit, though, he's added more than two strikeouts to that rate, with a 7.4 K/9 as a Tiger.