Before he learned he would get one more start in Sunday’s series and season finale in Coors Field, Erick Fedde talked to reporters after a 3 1⁄3-inning outing against the New York Mets in Washington, which saw him give up five hits, four walks, and three earned runs, about what he’d learned from the 2018 campaign.
He dealt with injury issues again, missing significant time with right shoulder inflammation, but he provided glimpses of the talent that convinced Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals’ front office to select him in the first round of the 2014 Draft in spite of the fact that he’d had Tommy John surgery before he was selected.
It was a mix of highs and lows overall, he explained, frustration and encouragement.
“It comes in waves of both,” Fedde said.
“There’s times where I’m like, ‘I can pitch at this level, I can be successful and I think I can dominate,’ and then there’s times of just, ‘What are you doing out there?’ but I think that comes with the learning curve, and I just need to make sure that isn’t a very long learning curve.”
In four starts after returning from the DL stint for the shoulder issue, Fedde was (1-0) with a 4.42 ERA, 12 walks, 24 Ks, and a .203/.325/.313 line against in 18 1⁄3 innings before getting a shot to start against Colorado.
Fedde fell behind early against the Rockies, giving up a leadoff triple to right field by Charlie Blackmon in the bottom of the first inning, and a two-out, two-run home run to left by Nolan Arenado, who hit a 3-1 slider out, 2-0.
Blackmon got Fedde again in the third, lining a 1-0 splitter out to right for the second two-run home run of the game off the Nationals’ starter and a 4-0 lead in the series finale.
That was it for the right-hander in his final start of the season.
Erick Fedde’s Line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 64 P, 39 S, 6/1 GO/FO.
“Fedde, you know, Fedde just made a couple mistakes, but other than that he threw the ball okay,” Davey Martinez said, after what ended up a 12-0 loss to the Rockies.
Martinez reportedly spoke to each of the Nationals individually over the weekend to discuss their 2018 campaigns and what they could work on for 2019 and beyond.
He talked again on Sunday about what lessons he thought Fedde could take away from his second season in the big leagues.
“He needs to get stronger for sure,” Martinez said, “and he needs to know who he is, and know what he wants to do.
“He’s got to use all his pitches and he’s got to keep the ball down, and his breaking ball has got to get better. Like I told him earlier, I said, ‘You’ve got to be around the plate, and you’ve got to throw strikes.’ When you do that and get ahead, he’s pretty good. He’s going to be a good one, he’s just really young. And the biggest thing for him is to stay healthy. He hasn’t stayed healthy and he needs to stay healthy.”
Fedde’s final stats: 5.54 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 22 walks (3.93 BB/9), and 46 Ks (8.23 K/9) in 11 starts and 50 1⁄3 IP.