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Erick Fedde struggles vs Phillies, but Nationals beat NL East rivals, 7-4...

Davey Martinez said he and Pitching Coach Paul Menhart saw some things they want Erick Fedde to work on after two straight starts in which he’s struggled.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Erick Fedde impressed in his first four starts as part of the Washington Nationals’ rotation this season, with a 2.70 ERA, seven walks, 13 Ks, and a .260/.341/.384 line against in 20 IP, but the 2014 1st Round pick struggled in outing No. 5, giving up six hits, three walks, and five runs in six innings in a 5-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“Sometimes you start the game and you start nitpicking and stuff,” Nats’ manager Davey Martinez said of the start in which Fedde gave up three of the five runs he allowed in the first two innings on the mound.

“He thought some of those pitches were close,” Martinez explained to reporters, “but I said, ‘Hey, regardless of what you think, they’re balls, so you’ve got to get to that next pitch and move on.”

Fedde said the last few innings of work gave him something positive to take from the start.

“It was good to get through six and put up zeroes the last two innings, but yeah, wanted a more complete game, but definitely happy with the ending,” the 26-year-old right-hander said.

Going up against the Phillies last night, the 2014 1st Round pick walked four batters in the first three innings, but stranded all four runners that reached base via free pass, and two who hit their way on.

Back-to-back, one-out singles by César Hernandez and Maikel Franco, and a two-out RBI hit by Bryce Harper in the fifth got the Phillies on the board, down 3-1, and Fedde’s fifth walk of the game loaded the bases and ended his outing after 84 pitches in just 3 23 IP...

Erick Fedde’s Line: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 1 K, 84 P, 43 S, 6/1 GO/FO.

Matt Grace took over with Jay Bruce at the plate, and gave up an RBI single, but Harper tried to score from second on the hit, and was thrown out by Adam Eaton, leaving it at 3-2 in the Nationals’ favor.

The Nationals went on to win their third straight against the Phillies, 7-4, and fourth straight overall, but it was not a good outing for Fedde, with the five walks, just 51% of his pitches thrown for strikes, and only four swinging strikes in 84 total pitches...

“Fedde didn’t have his good stuff,” Martinez said after the win, “but he battled, he really did, and we’ll have to get him back in, hone him back down. We talked a lot about his tempo, we talked a lot about his location, so this week he’ll throw a bullpen and [Pitching Coach] Paul [Menhart] will work on getting him back on track.”

What has the manager seen from his starter as he’s struggled in his last two starts?

“What I’ve noticed is his tempo,” Martinez said. “When he was doing really good, he threw the ball, got back on the mound, here we go, threw the ball, got back on the mound, here we go, and today it seemed like he was taking that little extra breath, the walking around, so we’re going to talk to him a little bit about his tempo and Paul saw some things that he’s going to work with him and get him back on track. The biggest thing, when your mechanics are a little off, you tend to do something else to correct it and sometimes that’s not the best.”

Was it Fedde, or were the Phillies’ hitters disrupting his tempo?

“I think it’s more him,” Martinez said.

The outing left the Nationals’ No. 5 starter with a 3.79 ERA, a 5.25 FIP, 19 walks (4.24 BB/9), and 22 Ks (4.91 K/9) in 11 games and six starts on the season, with a 3.94 ERA as a starter.