Erick Fedde went five innings in his first start of the 2019 campaign, after working in relief in his first five appearances of the season for Washington.
Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said after the game that he liked what he saw from Fedde, but he limited him to 61 pitches in his first starting assignment.
“He looked really good,” Martinez told reporters in New York.
“He threw ground balls, ground balls, but if he keeps pitching like that, we’re going to be in good shape. We’ve got to build him back up, obviously, but he did really well.”
Fedde said he was just happy to get an opportunity to stake a claim on a spot in the Nats’ rotation.
“Every time I go out there I still feel like I’ve got things to prove as the young guy,” the 26-year-old righty said, “and whether it be in the rotation or in the pen I’m just trying to throw well and try to force myself to keep a spot up here.”
Fedde made a strong case for a spot again this afternoon, tossing five scoreless against the Miami Marlins in what ended up an 83-pitch effort. He left the mound with a 5-0 lead and a shot at his first win of the season and third win in the majors.
Erick Fedde’s Line: W, (1-0), 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 83 P, 51 S, 3/5 GO/FO.
Fedde lowered his ERA to 2.18 on the season, and of the 51 strikes he he threw on the day, nine were swinging strikes, five with his curve, and 13 were called strikes, seven with his sinker.
“I like it,” his manager said after Fedde’s first and the Nationals’ third straight win.
“We’ve got to keep him going now. He did exactly what we needed him to do today, and he’s pitching really well. He’s using all his pitches well. His two-seamer is really, really effective right now, which I like. Plus he’s throwing his changeup. His curveball and sliders are good, so he needs to stay right there and he’ll be back out there in the next five days.”
Martinez was asked if he was worried at all when Fedde struggled with his command in the third, loading the bases with two down before he struck Neil Walker out to end the threat.
“No,” he said. “One thing I look for with him is his tempo. When he starts walking around the mound and starts... that’s when I get a little bit concerned, but he was good. He got back in the zone and got out of it and he was really good.”
Fedde said he works quickly and aggressively when he’s comfortable on the mound.
“I think it’s just who I am,” he told MASN’s Dan Kolko and Bo Porter.
“I think it’s when I’m at best, just a guy that I like to be on top of the hitters, make them feel like this is my game, and my mound, and that’s something that I’m proud of and that I just want to continue.”
Martinez told reporters he thought the way Fedde attacked the Marlins sparked the team in what ended up a 9-6 win.
“I think Fedde doing what he did really got us going,” Martinez explained.
“I really believe that. He came out smoking right from the first inning and the guys fed off of that and like I said, we were able to beat a pretty good opponent tonight.”
While the second-year skipper did say that Fedde would be back out there in five days, he said that the focus is on the next start and not what the future holds in terms of the rotation.
“When we talk to him we tell him, ‘Hey... ‘— we let him know when he’s going to pitch and then we tell him, ‘Hey, stick to the plan,’ — he’s on a good routine right now, and don’t worry about the future, just worry about that next game. That’s the way we treat him. He’s pitching really good right now, so let’s just keep him going.”