Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez called on Erick Fedde last Saturday when the scheduled starter, Stephen Strasburg wasn’t able to go.
Fedde, 27, made the roster in a bullpen role, but as he told reporters he’s gotten used to the different jobs he’s been asked to do in his time in the majors.
“If anything this is my normal,” Fedde joked. “Four years of this, something that happens when you’re on a team that has this many quality players and it’s just one of those things where I have to take my opportunities and run with them.
“This has definitely become a bit of a norm, so it’s something that shouldn’t throw me off at this point.”
“We kind of gave him a heads up two days ago,” Martinez said, “... and then we gave him the definitive yesterday morning. He was prepared. Like I said, he’s been throwing the ball good in this short version of Spring Training. He threw the ball good in Spring Training in March.
“We liked what we saw, and he went out there today and competed.”
Fedde gave up four hits and two runs, one earned, in a four-inning, 68-pitch outing in a 9-2 win over the New York Yankees in his 2020 debut.
In his second start of the season, the 2014 1st Round pick wasn’t quite as sharp, and he was out after just 3 1⁄3 innings pitched, giving up a run in the first on a leadoff double and an RBI single, then surrendering a one-out home run in the fourth, after which he allowed a single and a walk that ended his outing against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Erick Fedde’s Line: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 57 P, 31 S, 6/1 GO/FO.
“I definitely would like to go longer in the game,” Fedde said of his relatively brief outing in what ended up a 6-4 win over the Jays. “That’s a very aggressive team, make a couple bad pitches they’re going to jump on you early.
“Just one of those things where I would have maybe liked to execute a few more pitches, but luckily the bats were hot and we were able to get a win.”
There were a few pitches Fedde said he would, of course, like to have back.
“Just left a couple curveballs up today that I wish I could have back,” he added, “...especially that fourth inning, just when I’m at my best I’m down in the zone, and just left a few pitches up there.”
Fedde generated six swinging strikes and got 14 called strikes (11 with his fastball) in his first start of the season, but got just two swinging strikes and six called strikes in his second.
“I knew they were going to be aggressive so I wanted to attack with quality pitches,” Fedde said when asked about not having swing and miss stuff against the Jays.
“But yeah, I didn’t really have the breaking ball for much of the swing and miss, but luckily I had the fastball that was getting a lot of ground balls, so I can live with that.”
Going forward, the righty, who will likely return to a long-relief role when/if Strasburg is able to return to the rotation, said he’ll continue to prepare as if he’ll start again for now, because it’s easier to be ready if the Nationals need him to start again.
“At this point it’s really prepare to be a starter,” he said. “We’re hoping Stephen gets back, a guy of that quality you always want in your rotation.
“It’s a season where things are really whacky, things can happen, and at this point it’s easier to prepare for starts and then go to the bullpen rather than the other way around.”