On the mound in Yankee Stadium last week, Erick Fedde gave up six hits, two of them home runs, and four runs total in six innings, receiving no decision in what ended up a 5-4 win. He talked after the outing about the pressure of pitching in the Bronx, acknowledging that he’d tried (unsuccessfully) to convince himself it was just another start.
“Tried to just pretend like it’s any other day,” Fedde said, “whether it’s Triple-A, big leagues, whatever. Yankee Stadium is pretty special. Earlier in the day, got here, checked it out, and then just after that just try to pretend like it’s an everyday start.”
The Nationals’ 2014 1st Round pick also said he may have shown a little too much deference to the Yankees’ hitters, and falling behind batters all night caused him some trouble.
“Maybe I was trying to be too careful, giving guys too much credit,” Fedde explained.
“It’s tough to hit, so just having to work behind all day kind of sucks. You know, the bright lights, it is what it is, but it’s still the same game.”
Back home in the nation’s capital, Fedde went up against the Yankees again Monday night, giving up a run in the top of the first on a leadoff double by Aaron Hicks and a two-out RBI single by Giancarlo Stanton that got through the infield to put the visiting team up early, 1-0.
It was 1-1 in the third inning, when Fedde (who retired the Yankees in order in a 12-pitch top of the second), worked around a two-out walk to Aaron Judge for a scoreless, 16-pitch third, and the Nats took the lead with Anthony Rendon doubling and scoring in the bottom of the fourth, 2-1, but a leadoff single by Austin Romine and a two-run blast to right field on a 3-1 sinker to Aaron Hicks put the visiting team on top, 3-2 NY.
Fedde was up to 90 pitches total after a 26-pitch sixth, and a one-out single in the sixth led to the end of his outing after 97 total pitches.
Erick Fedde’s Line: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 97 P, 55 S, 7/1 GO/FO.
“[Fedde] pitched really well,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said after what ended up a 4-2 loss.
“The first run, to me, should’ve been knocked down,” Martinez continued, “... and he pitched well. He made one mistake. Fell behind to Hicks and tried to get the ball down and got it up, but he did really well.”
“I was behind I think 2-0,” Fedde said when asked about the pitch to Hicks, “then got 2-1, 3-1, and then that’s me thinking at that point with Judge sitting behind, I probably just would rather [Hicks] try to beat me, and I threw — sinker has been working for me last game and in this one, hopefully to just get a rollover double play, and it just didn’t happen that way.”
Fedde was asked what, if any, adjustments he made in a second consecutive start against the same team.
“Honestly, it’s something you build off of your last start,” he said.
“If you had success, I try to make them make the adjustments first, but the other day, I didn’t used my changeup a lot, and today I think I used it a little more.
“Just something to keep them off-balance. But in a situation like that it’s still pitching my best stuff against what they’ve got.”
Martinez lifted Fedde when he did, he explained, because he wanted to limit him to around 100 pitches overall.
“I wanted to keep him at about 100 pitches. The most I think he’s thrown was 94. So he did well. I was very, very excited to see him pitch the way he did.”
Fedde’s takeaway from the outing? He said he proved to himself once again that he’s, “... capable of pitching up here.”
“That’s definitely a good lineup, but something — in both games now for the team to give me the lead and to not hold onto it, I have some stuff to work on myself. Frustrating, but I think I can grow from it.”