Jake Fisher is loving life on Long Island. So much so, that the Ducks relatively new left-handed pitcher said that he would like to play a full season in Central Islip next year.
“Absolutely,” Fisher, 27, said. “I love it here. I love the team. I love [manager] Kevin Baez and [pitching coach] Billy Horn. Everybody has been really nice. I appreciate all the situations that I’ve been given.”
And what’s not to love? Fisher, who was acquired by the Ducks in a Sept. 8 trade with Windy City of the Independent Frontier League, pitched himself into Ducks playoff lore last Friday with a complete-game gem in Game 3 of the Liberty Division Championship Series. He allowed one run and six hits, struck out nine and walked two in a 6-1 win over the Somerset Patriots.
A three-run first inning on Friday put the Ducks in the drivers seat.
“I wasn’t worried about the outcome,” Fisher said. “I just focused on making each pitch at the present time. Obviously, every time your offense comes out and puts up a crooked number in the first inning, it boosts your confidence and helps settle the nerves.”
Fisher, who pitched to a 2.76 ERA in two regular season starts, will start Game 2 of the Atlantic League Championship Series against the York Revolution Thursday night at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip.
“I’m definitely excited to get to throw here on Long Island,” Fisher said. “I haven’t been here for a very long time, but I’ve enjoyed the starts I’ve had here at home and I am looking forward to this one.”
Fisher’s inexperience in the Atlantic League only made his playoff performance more impressive. Having never faced Somerset hitters before Game 3, Fisher had to rely on detailed scouting reports from Baez and Horn, as well as trusting catcher Alex Burg to order up the perfect combination of pitches to fool Somerset.
“We’ll just go over the lineup and say ‘hey look, these are the guys who are not going to beat us and this is what these guys like to do,’” Burg said. “But, basically, we stay at his strengths. We stay doing exactly what he likes to do and it’s been working really effectively so far.”
“I haven’t had to shake him off,” he said. “When I do shake him off, it’s not because of his pitch call. It’s because I feel shaking off mixes up the hitter. He’s done a great job. Obviously, the results show.”