After back-to-back starts against the New York Yankees, in which he gave up 13 hits, three walks, and seven earned runs in 10 1⁄3 innings, Erick Fedde talked to reporters about what he’d learned in those outings about his ability to compete against major league hitters.
“I’m capable of pitching up here,” the 25-year-old, 2014 1st Round pick said.
“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.”
“He can pitch here,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters before Fedde’s fourth trip to the mound in the majors this season against the Philadelphia Phillies in Nationals Park.
Martinez said he was trying to, “... just kind of build his confidence.”
“Every time he goes out it seems like he gets a little bit more confident, so he’s just got to be able to pitch and be consistent. He has kept us in the games, which is great. I know every time he goes out it seems like I leave him out a little longer, because I’m trying to build him up, his pitch count hasn’t really been that high, but his stuff is unbelievable.
“He’s got really good stuff.”
Asked if Fedde would have a little bit of a longer leash this time out, Martinez said it would depend on how things went.
“We’ll see how the game goes,” Martinez explained.
“I hope he comes out there and gives us seven strong innings, I do, but we’ll see how long he can go. Like I said, I’m very worried about his pitch count.
“If he can go longer it would be great and he can help us out a lot, but just want him to go out there and just go pitch-by-pitch and get outs.”
Fedde gave up a 2-0 lead early in the second of three with the Phillies, allowing four straight two-out singles in the second after the Nationals scored two in the home-half of the first.
He kept it tied at 2-2 through six, however, working around a leadoff walk in the third inning, a leadoff double in the fourth, and a leadoff single in the fifth inning, then retired the side in order in the sixth.
Fedde came back out for the seventh at 97 pitches, matching his total from the second start against New York, and gave up a leadoff double by Maikel Franco on his 99th pitch.
Franco came around to score a go-ahead run, after Ryan Madson took over, making it 3-2 Philly in what ended up a 5-3 win.
Erick Fedde’s Line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 99 P, 60 S, 8/4 GO/FO.
“He was really good, he was,” Martinez said after the Nationals’ second straight loss to the Phillies.
“One inning where they scored two runs, infield hit, Trea bobbles the ball, couldn’t get out of his glove, that started a big inning for them, but [Fedde] was good. He’s gaining confidence every time he goes out there, and I love it. He’s keeping us in the ballgame, and I can’t say enough about what he did today.”
Martinez was asked about his thinking in sending Fedde back out for the seventh. Was he going to the pen if anyone got on?
“He was going to keep going,” Martinez said, “but we get a guy on we had [Ryan] Madson ready. [Fedde] was throwing some bowling balls, but he just got one pitch up. But he was dealing, bottom of the order, I figured he could get through that. If he gets through that we’d be in great shape.”
“It was the bottom of the order, he’s was throwing 93-94,” the manager continued.
“I told you earlier it’s time to stretch him out a little bit and he was dealing, he was. Those sinkers he was throwing at 94 mph are pretty good. I thought the matchups were great, then all of a sudden if he gets through that inning now you’ve got Madson, [Kelvin] Herrera and [Sean Doolittle], and it was tied. If we’re ahead, a different story.”
“I felt fine,” Fedde said when asked about his own mindset going out for the seventh.
“Right when I walked out in the sixth I looked at Davey and said, I’m ready to go, and I know yesterday we had a long one and however long I can get, especially in a tie game, get us going, unfortunately led off that inning pretty poorly but wish I could have done better.”
Was it a confidence boost that his manager sent him back out?
“Definitely. Shows that he has a lot of trust in me to get out there and get the job done, and hope to prove him right here in the future.”
“I felt like my stuff was pretty good today,” Fedde said.
“Had a lot of ground balls today, that’s usually when I know my stuff is good.”
“I thought Fedde did a tremendous job,” Nats’ catcher Spencer Kieboom said after guiding the right-hander through a third start together.
“I couldn’t be more proud of him. He mixed all five pitches, sliders, curveballs, cutters, and fastballs. He did a good job. I thought he attacked hitters. At the beginning we kind of were picking, but then after that he really attacked.”
“He’s been getting better and better every single time.”