Victor Robles doubled to drive in two runs in the second, drove in two more with a two-run shot to left in the fourth, and finished the night a triple short of the cycle in a 9-2 win over New York’s Yankees in the second game of 60 for the Washington Nationals in 2020’s MLB campaign.
Erick Fedde got the start for the Nationals when Stephen Strasburg couldn’t go, and he put together a solid but brief outing, then turned it over to the bullpen for five scoreless frames in the win.
Fedde vs NYY: Erick Fedde, 27, made 12 starts in the majors last season, with a 4.48 ERA, a 5.68 FIP, 25 walks (3.81 BB/9), 31 strikeouts (4.73 K/9), and a .297/.369/.491 line against over 60 1⁄3 innings pitched as a starter.
Fedde, who made the Opening Day roster in a long-relief role, was pressed into action as a starter tonight when Stephen Strasburg was scratched with a nerve issue in his right wrist and thumb.
Two errors in the top of the first (one a throwing error on a grounder to first base that Howie Kendrick threw wide of the bag, and another on a potential inning-ending grounder to Starlin Castro at second base), put two on in front of Giancarlo Stanton with one out. Fedde dialed up a 5-4-3, inning-ending DP though, to get out of a 14-pitch frame.
An error on a grounder to short and a weird loose ball on the infield in the top of the third put Yankees’ leadoff man Gio Urshela on second with no one out.
Urshela moved to third base on a Brett Gardner fly to right field and scored on an RBI single by DJ LeMahieu that got the Yanks on the board, 3-1.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his second home run in two games on a 3-0 fastball from Fedde in the first at bat of the fourth, sending the 92 MPH pitch into the empty left field seats, 3-2 Nats.
A two-out walk loaded the bases with Yankees and left Fedde at 63 pitches overall on the night but he got an inning-ending grounder out of LeMahieu to keep the home team up a run after three and a half.
Erick Fedde’s Line: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 68 P, 42 S, 9/1 GO/FO.
Paxton vs D.C.: Yankees’ starter James Paxton was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in November of 2018, and in his first season in New York, the 31-year-old southpaw finished with a (15-6) record in 29 starts over which he put up a 3.82 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 55 walks (3.29 BB/9), 186 Ks (11.11 K/9), and a .242/.309/.423 line against in 150 2⁄3 IP.
Starlin Castro tripled off Paxton with two out in the home-half of the first, but was stranded.
Asdrúbal Cabrera, Kurt Suzuki, and Carter Kieboom hit back-to-back-to-back singles off the left-hander in the first two at bats of the Nationals’ second, and Victor Robles stepped in to face Paxton with the bases loaded and worked back from an 0-2 count to get to 2-2 before he lined a knuckle curve to left for a two-run double, 2-0.
Michael A. Taylor walked to load them back up in the at bat that followed, and that was it for the Yankees’ starter in his 2020 debut.
James Paxton’s Line: 1.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 41 P, 29 S, 0/1 GO/FO.
Stanton ❤️s D.C.: Giancarlo Stanton started the night in D.C. 67 for 221 (.303/.378/.665) in 58 games played in Nationals Park in his career, over which he’d hit 17 doubles and 21 HRs.
Stanton added his 22nd HR in 59 games in the Nationals’ home when he took Erick Fedde deep to left in the 4th for a solo shot in the fourth that traveled 483 ft.
BTW: Giancarlo Stanton's 2nd HR in 2 games in #Nationals Park this year (and 22nd in 59 career games in D.C.) went a total of 483 ft to left field (according to Baseball Savant's measurement). pic.twitter.com/i0VxHGnDVi— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) July 26, 2020
BULLPEN ACTION: Michael King inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the second, after James Paxton was lifted early, and got a 6-4-3 DP out of Trea Turner, 3-0 Nats, 2 out in the inning, and a fly to right field by Adam Eaton got the Yankees out of the inning with limited damage.
King came back out with a quick, eight-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the third, but Kurt Suzuki hit a weak fly to left that Brett Gardner couldn’t quite catch, in spite of a sliding effort, and an out later, Victor Robles hit a 1-0 fastball to left and off the foul pole for a two-run blast and a 5-2 Nationals’ lead.
Tanner Rainey got the fifth for the Nationals and worked around a (totally understandable) two-out walk to Stanton for a scoreless, nine-pitch frame.
Adam Eaton singled to start the Nats’ half of the fifth, took third on an errant throw on a pick attempt, and scored on a ground-rule double to center off Howie Kendrick’s bat, 6-2 Nats.
Jonathan Holder took over on the mound for King. Kendrick scored on an Asdrúbal Cabrera liner to right that Aaron Judge dove for but didn’t catch, 7-2.
Ryne Harper got the sixth for the Nationals and retired the side in order, striking out two in a 10-pitch frame.
Harper came back out for the seventh and worked around a one-out single in a 21-pitch top of the inning. Two scoreless on 31 pitches in his debut for the Nationals.
Asdrúbal Cabrera hit a solo shot off Yankees’ righty Ben Heller with one down in the seventh to make it an 8-2 game in the home team’s favor.
James Bourque got the call in the eighth, with a six-run lead, and worked around a leadoff double by Stanton for a scoreless 16-pitch frame. Still 8-2 Nationals ... make that 9-2, solo homer by Michael A. Taylor off Yankees’ lefty Luis Avilán.
Kyle Finnegan made his Nationals (and MLB debut) in the ninth, and worked around an error and a single for a scoreless frame, with a 6-4-3 DP to end it. Final Score: 9-2 Nationals.
Nationals now 1-1