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Washington Nationals drop 2-1 decision to Atlanta Braves: Erick Fedde solid in 2018 Grapefruit League debut...

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Erick Fedde had his velocity back up where it was before he was injured late last season as he took on the Atlanta Braves in Grapefruit League action today...

MLB: Spring Training-Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

After beating the Atlanta Braves 9-3 yesterday, the Washington Nationals’ offense came up empty this afternoon in a 2-1 Grapefruit League loss to their NL East rivals in sunny Lake Buena Vista, FL. Erick Fedde started for the Nationals and gave up one run on four hits over two innings of work.

Julio Teheran tossed two scoreless for the Braves, and the Atlanta bullpen combined for six scoreless before Moises Sierra hit a solo shot in the top of the ninth to break up the shutout.

Fedde Good: Washington Nationals’ skipper Dave Martinez was asked earlier this Spring what he liked about top pitching prospect Erick Fedde, who’s in camp competing for the fifth spot in the Nats’ rotation after making his MLB debut in 2017.

Fedde was injured (flexor mass strain) late last summer, bringing an abrupt end to his season, but he’s in camp with the Nationals and 100% healthy this Spring.

So what does Martinez like about the recently-turned 25-year-old right-hander?

“I love his demeanor, I really do,” Martinez said.

“He’s a quiet kid, but yet he’s very competitive. The first thing he said when I asked him what he thought his strengths were was that he loves to compete. That’s always good.

“But he’s got really good stuff and he’s just really trying to figure things out. It’s good to see.

“Working with [Pitching coach Derek] Lilliquist, he’s going to change little things with his grip and stuff like that, but he’s excited to get going and he’s 100% healthy.”

In his final start last August, Fedde’s velocity dipped to 89-91 mph from his usual 93-96, but according to reports from Lake Buena Vista, Florida’s Champion Stadium today, the righty was back to his normal (average) velo as he and the Nationals took on the Braves.

Fedde gave up a run on four hits in two innings against Atlanta this afternoon, giving up a two-out single by Ronald Acuna and an RBI double by Braves’ catcher Kurt Suzuki in what ended up being his final inning of work in the second.

On the bases: Victor Robles, Matt Reynolds, and Rafael Bautista stole bases this afternoon in the loss to the Braves, but outfielder Andrew Stevenson, who walked to start the Nats’ half of the second, got thrown out at third base trying to take an extra base on a single to center by Reynolds in the next at bat, and Reynolds was thrown out at home later in the second inning trying to scored on a double by Chris Dominguez.

An inning later, after Robles doubled with two down, he tried to steal third base but was thrown out by Braves’ catcher Tyler Flowers.

As a number of beat writers covering the team this Spring mentioned, the Nationals have been giving up a lot of outs on the basepaths in the first four games under new manager Davey Martinez. [ed. note - “Yeah, we know, we know, it’s only Spring Training.”]

Davey Lopes will be missed, though we’re happy for him and wish him the best in his post-baseball life. No offense, Tim Bogar. We’re not blaming any of this on you.

Final Score: 2-1 Braves.