Erick Fedde refused to let his rough first outing this season convince him that the success he had on the hill this spring was illusory. Fedde gave up six hits, three walks, and six runs, five earned, in 1 2⁄3 in his initial outing this season, but bounced back with two solid starts for the Washington Nationals in which he gave up seven hits, three walks, and two runs in his 9 2⁄3 IP.
“I think it still leads back to the end of spring and just feeling so confident in my stuff, and just the things I’ve worked on, just led me to be at a point where I feel like I can throw any pitch at any count and it will be effective,” Fedde said when asked about his success in his last two starts before last night’s against the New York Mets in Citi Field.
“When you have that feeling it’s really easy to be confident and attack the zone.”
Going into the outing with the Nationals’ NL East rivals, in which he was matched up against Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom, Fedde’s skipper, Davey Martinez, was asked if he was concerned a head-to-head matchup would lead the righty to press and try to match the former Cy Young award winner (2018-19).
“He’s going to go out there. We’ve got a game plan for Erick Fedde. He’ll sit with [Pitching Coach Jim] Hickey and then [catcher] Yan [Gomes] and we’ll come up with a game plan,” Martinez said, “which we’re already discussed, and then we’ll go from there and we’ll watch him. For me, it’s for Erick to go out there and pitch to his strengths, and as we always talk about, attack the strike zone with conviction.
“My biggest thing is when he goes out there and he attacks the strike zone like he wants to, the outcome is there.”
Fedde matched deGrom through four scoreless, and after recording the first out in the fifth, he was up to nine straight outs after he pitched out of a jam in the second, but he hit J.D. Davis, walked Jeff McNeil, and gave up an opposite field, RBI double by deGrom, who gave the Mets a 1-0 lead, and a 2-out, 2-run single by Brandon Nimmo made it a 3-0 game in the home team’s favor.
That was it for Fedde in Citi Field, in what ended up a 6-0 Nationals’ loss in which deGrom threw a 109-pitch complete game, striking out 15, and retiring the final 19 batters he faced.
Erick Fedde’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 82 P, 54 S, 9/1 GO/FO.
“He pitched well,” Martinez said of Fedde’s outing overall. “I mean, two strikes, he hits Davis, and then the walk. Honestly, I think he made one bad pitch, and that was to Nimmo. He wanted to go arm side, and the ball just didn’t quite get where he wanted to get it. So, still in all, it was a ground ball, but I thought he pitched well.”
Asked to assess his own outing, Fedde said, “Honestly, I loved it until the fifth.”
“I thought my stuff was great,” the 2014 1st Round pick added.
“I had all four pitches working. If anything, that makes it even more frustrating to see it end like that. If anything it I’m just mad that when I did give up a hit, I put two guys on base for free. That really kind of made me upset.”
“The conversation we had when he came out is — he knew, and he said that two strikes, hitting Davis and the walk, and he was upset about the walk,” Martinez said.
“But I told him all in all, ‘Look, Fedde, if you keep us in the ballgame like that we’re going to be in good shape. I mean, you’re throwing the ball well. Don’t beat yourself up tonight.
“‘We’ll come back and you’ll pitch again in five days and we’ll go from there.’
“But he’s learning, and his stuff the last three outings has been really good. Like I told you earlier, I think he pitched well, for the most part he kept us in the game, and that’s all you can ask.”
“I look at it as, I made two mistakes that inning,” Fedde said of the rough fifth. “One, I hit J.D. and then, I mean, McNeil gave me a tough AB, wish I could have put him away. That pitch to deGrom is pretty bad.
“So it’s just one I wish I could have back and like I said if two guys aren’t on there it’s a single, or I guess a double.”